Loos·en, v. i. To become loose; to become less tight, firm, or compact.
Loos·en v. t. [imp. & p. p. Loosened p. pr. & vb. n. Loosening.]
1. To make loose; to free from tightness, tension, firmness, or fixedness; to make less dense or compact; as, to loosen a string, or a knot; to loosen a rock in the earth.
After a year's rooting, then shaking doth the tree good by loosening of the earth. --Bacon.
2. To free from restraint; to set at liberty..
It loosens his hands, and assists his understanding. --Dryden.
3. To remove costiveness from; to facilitate or increase the alvine discharges of.
v 1: make loose or looser; "loosen the tension on a rope" [syn: loose]
2: make less severe or strict; "The government relaxed the
curfew after most of the rebels were caught" [syn: relax]
3: become less severe or strict; "The rules relaxed after the
new director arrived" [syn: relax]
4: disentangle and raise the fibers of; "tease wool" [syn: tease,
5: cause to become loose; "undo the shoelace"; "untie the
knot"; "loosen the necktie" [syn: untie, undo]
6: make less dense; "loosen the soil"
7: become loose or looser or less tight; "The noose loosened";
"the rope relaxed" [syn: relax, loose] [ant: stiffen]