loosen

When you loosen something, you make it less tight. A ballerina, for example, might loosen her tightly coiled hair after dance practice.

You might need to loosen your belt after eating a huge meal, or loosen your collar and tie after a long day at work. Things sometimes also loosen on their own, like when a dog's collar loosens gradually until she can slip right out of it to chase a squirrel. There is also a figurative way to loosen things, making them less strict, like when a community loosens certain rules or laws.

Definitions of loosen
  1. verb
    make loose or looser
    loosen the tension on a rope”
    synonyms: loose
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    Antonyms:
    stiffen
    make stiff or stiffer
    types:
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    relax, unbend
    make less taut
    remit, slacken
    make slack as by lessening tension or firmness
    slack
    release tension on
    unscrew
    loosen something by unscrewing it
    unscrew
    loosen by turning
    unbrace
    remove from tension
    douse, dowse
    slacken
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  2. verb
    cause to become loose
    loosen the necktie”
    synonyms: undo, untie
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  3. verb
    become loose or looser or less tight
    “The noose loosened
    synonyms: loose, relax
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    Antonyms:
    stiffen
    become stiff or stiffer
    type of:
    weaken
    become weaker
  4. verb
    disentangle and raise the fibers of
    synonyms: tease, tease apart
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    type of:
    disentangle, straighten out, unsnarl
    extricate from entanglement
  5. verb
    make less dense
    loosen the soil”
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    types:
    scarify
    break up
    fluff, ruffle
    erect or fluff up
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  6. verb
    make less severe or strict
    synonyms: relax
    relax
    become less severe or strict
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  7. verb
    become less severe or strict
    synonyms: relax
    relax
    make less severe or strict
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    type of:
    change
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
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