Loose or Lose?

What is the difference between loose and lose?

Loose means not tight or free from constraint (e.g., These trousers are loose.)

To lose means:

Loose or Lose?

There is often confusion over the words loose and lose. This is due to the lack of consistency in pronouncing words that end oose and ose.

For example, loose (LOOSS) rhymes with noose (NOOSS) but not choose (CHOOZ).


The word lose rhymes with snooze. It has the following meaning:
Fail to keep (either physically or in an abstract sense), to misplace, fail to make money in a business:
Fail to win:


Loose, which rhymes with moose, is an adjective meaning not tight, not dense, or free from constraint. Less commonly, it can be used as a verb meaning to unleash (e.g., to loose plagues upon humanity).


A Quick Test

There's a Moose Loose!

People make mistakes with loose and lose because of the confusion over pronunciation.  If you remember that loose rhymes with moose, you will eliminate this error.

moose on the loose

Common Terms with Loose/Lose

Here are some common terms with loose and lose:

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See Also

What are adjectives? What are verbs? List of easily confused words