loosens, loosening, loosened
1) VERB If someone loosens restrictions or laws, for example, they make them less strict or severe.

[V n] Many business groups have been pressing the Federal Reserve to loosen interest rates...

[V n] Drilling regulations, too, have been loosened to speed the development of the fields.

Derived words:
loosening N-SING usu N of n

Domestic conditions did not justify a loosening of monetary policy.

2) V-ERG If someone or something loosens the ties between people or groups of people, or if the ties loosen, they become weaker.

[V n] The Federal Republic must loosen its ties with the United States...

[V n] The deputy leader is cautious about loosening the links with the unions...

The ties that bind them together are loosening.

3) V-ERG If you loosen your clothing or something that is tied or fastened, you undo it slightly so that it is less tight or less firmly held in place.

[V n] He reached up to loosen the scarf around his neck...

[V n] Loosen the bolt so the bars can be turned...

Her hair had loosened and was tangled around her shoulders.

4) VERB If you loosen something that is stretched across something else, you make it less stretched or tight.

[V n] Insert a small knife into the top of the chicken breast to loosen the skin.

5) V-ERG If you loosen your grip on something, or if your grip loosens, you hold it less tightly.

[V n] Harry loosened his grip momentarily and Anna wriggled free...

When his grip loosened she eased herself away.

6) V-ERG If a government or organization loosens its grip on a group of people or an activity, or if its grip loosens, it begins to have less control over it.

[V n] There is no sign that the Party will loosen its tight grip on the country...

The Soviet Union's grip on Eastern Europe loosened.

7) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that something has loosened someone's tongue, you mean that it has made them talk about something, often when they should have remained silent.

The wine had loosened his tongue.

Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • loosen — ► VERB 1) make or become loose. 2) (loosen up) warm up in preparation for an activity. ● loosen someone s tongue Cf. ↑loosen someone s tongue DERIVATIVES loosener noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Loosen — Loos en (l[=oo]s n), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Loosened} (l[=oo]s nd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Loosening}.] [See {Loose}, v. t.] 1. To make loose; to free from tightness, tension, firmness, or fixedness; to make less dense or compact; as, to loosen a string …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loosen up — (someone) to behave in a relaxed, informal way. Slowly she began to loosen up and, by the second semester, she was making friends with her classmates. The question was supposed to loosen people up and chase away their anxieties …   New idioms dictionary

  • loosen — [lo͞os′ən] vt., vi. to make or become loose or looser; specif., a) to free from confinement or restraint; unbind, unfasten, etc. b) to make less taut, less compact, etc. ☆ loosen up Informal 1. to talk freely 2. to give money generously 3. to… …   English World dictionary

  • Loosen — Loos en, v. i. To become loose; to become less tight, firm, or compact. S. Sharp. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loosen — index disencumber, disentangle, disenthrall, dissociate, ease, extricate, give (yield), remit ( …   Law dictionary

  • Loosen — Forme génitive du néerlandais Loos, surnom désignant une personne rusée. Loos est aussi en allemand un hypocoristique de Ludwig (= Louis). Enfin, c est parfois un toponyme avec le sens de prairie marécageuse (germanique lauth) …   Noms de famille

  • loosen — (v.) late 14c., losnen, later lousen (early 15c.), from LOOSE (Cf. loose) (v.) + EN (Cf. en) (1). Related: Loosened; loosening …   Etymology dictionary

  • loosen — loos|en [ˈlu:sən] v 1.) [I and T] to make something less tight or less firmly fastened, or to become less tight or less firmly fastened ≠ ↑tighten ▪ You ll need a spanner to loosen that bolt. ▪ The screws have loosened. ▪ Harry loosened his tie.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • loosen — UK [ˈluːs(ə)n] / US [ˈlus(ə)n] verb Word forms loosen : present tense I/you/we/they loosen he/she/it loosens present participle loosening past tense loosened past participle loosened 1) [intransitive/transitive] to become or make something less… …   English dictionary

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