- loos|en [ˈlu:sən] v1.) [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.2.) [T]to make laws, rules etc less strict= ↑relax≠ ↑tighten▪ Congress has loosened the restrictions on immigration.3.) loosen your grip/holda) to reduce the control or power you have over someone or somethingloosen your grip/hold on▪ The government has loosened its hold on the media considerably.b) to start holding someone or something less tightly than you were before≠ ↑tighten loosen your grip/hold on▪ He loosened his grip on David's arm.4.) loosen sb's tongueto make someone talk more than usual, especially about things they should not talk aboutloosen up phr v1.) to stop worrying and become more relaxed, or to make someone do this▪ She loosened up after she'd had a drink.loosen sb<=>up▪ His welcoming smile helped loosen her up.2.) if your muscles loosen up, or if something loosens them up, they stop feeling stiffloosen sth<=>up▪ A massage will loosen up your joints.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.