Definition of let someone/something loose in US English:

let someone/something loose


  • 1Release someone or something.

    ‘let the dog loose for a minute’
    • ‘The infuriated chief took a photo of the scene as the illegal aliens were let loose and sent me a copy.’
    • ‘I'm not sure letting your four-month-old puppy loose in your average city dog park is that great an idea.’
    • ‘However, at least two dogs were let loose by spectators.’
    • ‘On Saturday afternoon power boats were let loose from their moorings and on Sunday vandals did the same to canoes.’
    • ‘In this competition, dogs are let loose to chase a jack rabbit over desert terrain.’
    • ‘He also claimed any person walking a dog of a hunting breed in an area where there were known to be wild mammals could be open to prosecution if they let the dog loose.’
    • ‘He stressed he was not criticising people who lived in the country but newcomers and visitors from urban areas, who kept their dogs cooped up and then thought they could let them loose as soon as they were in the countryside.’
    • ‘To add to the general excitement, a couple of tigers were let loose on the racetrack to be hunted!’
    • ‘When I lived more in the country, dogs were kept up and cats were let loose.’
    • ‘Also, when animal shelters don't take every animal brought to the door, the risk is that it will be let loose on the street and perhaps be hit by a car, poisoned, tortured or maimed.’
    free, set free, unloose, turn loose, set loose, let go, release, liberate
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    1. 1.1 Allow someone freedom of action in a particular place or situation.
      ‘people are only let loose on the system once they have received sufficient training’
      • ‘And for the last 200 years they have been let loose on humanity to perpetuate the worst kind of injustices.’
      • ‘Nowadays professional caddies at the world's leading courses undergo strenuous training and have to prove themselves to their caddie-masters before they are let loose on the paying public.’
      • ‘They have been let loose on the BBC archive to select their choice of rare recordings.’
      • ‘The first two years of study are similar to that of any other health care practitioner and thousands of hours of clinical practice are required before the student is let loose on the public.’
      • ‘Long before any filmmaker is let loose on complicated things like working out which lens is best for what shot, they first have to enter the mind-boggling minefield of film financing.’
      • ‘While their menfolk were at the convention, these elderly candy-floss haired ladies were let loose on Manhattan.’
      • ‘The staff spend an average of six months concentrating on backroom duties and learning the basics before they are let loose on the company's clients.’
      • ‘I really had a taste for racing by the time I was let loose on my final track challenge in a single-seat race car.’
      • ‘Something did need to be done, so the road planning idiots were let loose on this project, a department that I don't think has half a brain between them.’
      • ‘Before you can drive, you need to take a test for a licence, which gives you and others on the road the confidence that you have gained all skills and aptitudes required to let you loose on the road.’
    2. 1.2 Suddenly utter a sound or remark.
      ‘he let loose a stream of abuse’
      • ‘Once out in the narrow hall I let loose a cry of frustration.’
      • ‘Ducking his head, he rushes the door, letting loose a yell as he throws his body against it.’
      • ‘In one Michigan case, a man who let loose a stream of curses after falling out of a canoe in 1999 was convicted of violating a law against cursing in front of women and children.’
      • ‘Stunned, the CEO let loose a stream of expletives and walked out.’
      • ‘She stiffened and then let loose a stream of abuse in a South Yorkshire accent.’
      emit, give, burst out with, give forth, send forth
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