1 [intransitive and transitive] 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 [transitive] to make laws, rules etc less strict [= relax; ≠ tighten]:
Congress has loosened the restrictions on immigration.

loosen your grip/hold

a) to reduce the control or power you have over someone or something
loosen 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.

loosen somebody's tongue

to make someone talk more than usual, especially about things they should not talk about

loosen up

phrasal verb
1 to stop worrying and become more relaxed, or to make someone do this:
She loosened up after she'd had a drink.
loosen somebody ↔ up
His welcoming smile helped loosen her up.
2DS if your muscles loosen up, or if something loosens them up, they stop feeling stiff
loosen something ↔ up
A massage will loosen up your joints.

Dictionary results for "loosen"
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