Definition of noose in English:



  • 1A loop with a running knot, tightening as the rope or wire is pulled and used to trap animals or hang people:

    ‘he began to choke as the noose tightened about his throat’
    ‘a hangman's noose’
    figurative ‘the West is exploring ways to tighten the economic noose’
    • ‘I will be leaving the noose of the Internet very shortly.’
    • ‘He can barely pay the recently increased rent from his pension money, but there seems no way out of this noose.’
    • ‘They feel the noose being tightened and they know that we have the military means to crush them.’
    • ‘We will be patient and continue to draw the noose tighter and tighter.’
    • ‘The noose is tightening on him.’
    • ‘But it appears from this case that the noose is tightening by stealth.’
    • ‘With the noose tightening around humanity's neck, the good ship Switchblade Honey is dispatched behind enemy lines, with a simple remit: strike hard, strike fast, and keep moving.’
    • ‘The dialogue alternatingly sparkles or darkens as various nooses, comic or otherwise, steadily tighten.’
    • ‘It's a classic tale: Small-town boy moves to the big city to throw off the noose of repression and take a walk on the wild side.’
    • ‘I don't think marriage has to be this noose around your neck.’
    • ‘This is another small step to close the noose on cheaters.’
    • ‘It's a malevolent money noose that is tightening just as the festive season's bells and lights are beginning to chime and shine.’
    • ‘In an interview yesterday, he agreed the noose was tightening.’
    • ‘His lavish past has left its mark financially, and the creditors are now tightening the metaphorical noose.’
    • ‘They were enjoying their best spell of the game on 62 minutes, tightening the noose around Ashton when United broke and a shot thundered into Joe McMahon's arm from point-blank range.’
    • ‘As he feels the noose tightening, Whitlock finds himself in a race against the clock to uncover the mysteries surrounding the deaths and maintain his innocence.’
    • ‘The tidal wave of public spending has delivered some better roads, but it has not eased the gridlock that grips the capital city and, increasingly, tightens a noose around towns and cities around the country.’
    • ‘They're drawing the noose around their own necks!’
    • ‘And have you noticed, if you're a male office worker you also get to wear your own personal noose around your neck.’
    • ‘How many businesses will want to spend money making their own nooses?’
    coil, hoop, ring, circle, noose, oval, spiral, curl, twirl, whorl, twist, hook, zigzag, helix, convolution, incurvation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the noose Death by hanging:
      ‘he earned a reprieve from the noose’
      • ‘My dreams for the future have now atrophied to simply ‘keeping the noose at bay.’’
      • ‘One might have expected criminals awaiting trial to have been especially defensive, doing their best to avoid the noose by shifting blame elsewhere.’
      • ‘Yet he is one of the three still facing the noose.’


  • 1 Put a noose on (someone):

    ‘she was noosed and hooded, then strangled by the executioner’
    • ‘The novitiate, blindfolded and noosed, was brought before them and a gun fired into the air.’
    • ‘When the hangman came to noose her she knocked him clean out of the cart.’
    1. 1.1 Catch (an animal) with a noose:
      ‘the animal was eventually noosed and sedated by dog handlers’
      • ‘Pitfall traps were placed opportunistically next to logs to supplement noosing and remained there for the entire study.’
      • ‘Individuals were noosed, measured, weighed, and marked with synthetic paint to ease observation.’
    2. 1.2 Form (a rope) into a noose:
      ‘Gomez had noosed a coil of rope around his neck’
      • ‘Six boys found her body with a black chiffon scarf noosed around her neck.’
      • ‘A silver-blue rope of sorts was noosed around the creature's throat.’


Late Middle English: probably via Old French no(u)s from Latin nodus knot.