mainly an adjective used to describe things that are “not tightly fitted.”
As a verb means “to release”. It can also function as a noun in some idioms (on the loose).


ONLY a verb. To lose is “to suffer a loss,” “to be deprived of,” “to part with,” or “to fail to keep possession of.”

For example, “My shoes are loose.” (not tightly fitted)
For example, “I loosed the dog on the intruder.” (released)
For example, “I never lose at Monopoly.” (to suffer a loss)

So why so much confusion? Lose does not sound like many of its counterparts (hose, nose, pose, rose).

It is typically carelessness or poor spelling skills that lead people to write LOOSE when they mean LOSE. Here’s some handy tips:

Just remember that “lose” has one o, and loose has two. Start with loose, lose an o, and what do you get? Lose! Another common trick is to remember the phrase “loose goose.”

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