Loose vs Louse - What's the difference?

loose | louse |

As verbs the difference between loose and louse

is that loose is to let loose, to free from restraints or loose can be while louse is to remove lice from the body of a person or animal; to delouse.

As nouns the difference between loose and louse

is that loose is (archery) the release of an arrow while louse is a small parasitic wingless insect of the order phthiraptera .

As an adjective loose

is not fixed in place tightly or firmly.

As an interjection loose

is (archery) begin shooting; release your arrows.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Etymology 1

(etyl) , whence also (m), (m), via Ancient Greek.


  • To let loose, to free from restraints.
  • * Bible, Matthew xxi. 2
  • Ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them, and bring them unto me.
  • To unfasten, to loosen.
  • To make less tight, to loosen.
  • Of a grip or hold, to let go.
  • (archery) to shoot (an arrow)
  • (obsolete) To set sail.
  • * 1611 :
  • Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
  • (obsolete) To solve; to interpret.
  • (Spenser)
    * (let loose) free, release * (unfasten) loosen, unbind, undo, unfasten, untie * (make less tight) loosen, relax, slacken * (of grip or hold) let go, release * (archery) fire, shoot
    * (let loose) bind, constrain * (unfasten) bind, fasten, tie * (make less tight) tighten * (of grip or hold) tighten * (archery) fast


  • Not fixed in place tightly or firmly.
  • This wheelbarrow has a loose wheel.
  • Not held or packaged together.
  • You can buy apples in a pack, but they are cheaper loose .
  • Not under control.
  • The dog is loose again.
  • * Addison
  • Now I stand / Loose of my vow; but who knows Cato's thoughts?
  • Not fitting closely
  • I wear loose clothes when it is hot.
  • Not compact.
  • It is difficult walking on loose gravel.
    a cloth of loose texture
  • * Milton
  • with horse and chariots ranked in loose array
  • Relaxed.
  • She danced with a loose flowing movement.
  • Not precise or exact; vague; indeterminate.
  • a loose way of reasoning
  • * Whewell
  • The comparison employed must be considered rather as a loose analogy than as an exact scientific explanation.
  • .
  • Loose talk costs lives.
  • (dated) Free from moral restraint; immoral, unchaste.
  • * 1819 , Lord Byron, Don Juan , I:
  • In all these he was much and deeply read; / But not a page of any thing that's loose , / Or hints continuation of the species, / Was ever suffer'd, lest he should grow vicious.
  • * Spenser
  • loose ladies in delight
  • * Sir Walter Scott
  • the loose morality which he had learned
  • (not comparable, sports) Not being in the possession of any competing team during a game.
  • He caught an elbow going after a loose ball.
    The puck was momentarily loose right in front of the net.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=September 28 , author=Tom Rostance , title=Arsenal 2 - 1 Olympiakos , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=Tomas Rosicky released the left-back with a fine pass but his low cross was cut out by Ivan Marcano. However the Brazilian was able to collect the loose ball, cut inside and roll a right-footed effort past Franco Costanzo at his near post.}}
  • (dated) Not costive; having lax bowels.
  • (John Locke)
    * (not fixed in place tightly or firmly) * (not held or packaged together) separate, unpackaged * (not bound or tethered or leashed) free, untethered * (not fitting closely) baggy * (not compact) * (relaxed) loose-limbed, relaxed * (indiscreet) indiscreet * (promiscuous) polygamous, promiscuous, slutty, tarty, whorish
    * (not fixed in place tightly or firmly) * (not held or packaged together) packaged * (not bound or tethered or leashed) bound, leashed, tethered, tied, tied up * (not fitting closely) close-fitting, snug, tight * (not compact) compact, firm * (relaxed) tense, tensed * (indiscreet) discreet * (promiscuous) faithful, monogamous
    Derived terms
    * break loose * cast loose * cut loose * hang loose * let loose * loosen * loose coupling * loose lip * on the loose * stay loose * turn loose


    (en noun)
  • (archery) The release of an arrow.
  • (obsolete) A state of laxity or indulgence; unrestrained freedom, abandonment.
  • (sports)
  • * 2011 , Tom Fordyce, Rugby World Cup 2011: England 12-19 France [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/15210221.stm]
  • The defeat will leave manager Martin Johnson under pressure after his gamble of pairing Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood at 10 and 12 failed to ignite the England back line, while his forwards were repeatedly second best at the set-piece and in the loose .
  • Freedom from restraint.
  • (Prior)
  • * Addison
  • Vent all its griefs, and give a loose to sorrow.
  • A letting go; discharge.
  • (Ben Jonson)
    Derived terms
    * give a loose


    (en interjection)
  • (archery) begin shooting; release your arrows
  • Antonyms
    * fast



    Etymology 2


  • I'm going to loose this game.
    Derived terms
    * looser



    (wikipedia louse)


  • A small parasitic wingless insect of the order Phthiraptera .
  • (colloquial, dated, not usually used in plural form) A contemptible person; one who has recently taken an action considered deceitful or indirectly harmful.
  • Synonyms

    * (insect) (North America) cootie * (contemptible person) maggot, worm

    Derived terms

    * body louse * booklouse * crab louse * head louse * louser * lousy * pubic louse * sea louse * three skips of a louse


  • To remove lice from the body of a person or animal; to delouse.
  • Synonyms

    * delouse