Difference Between Lose and Loose

Main Difference – Lose vs. Loose

Lose and loose are two words that often confuse many people. This is because they are homophones; they are pronounced in the same way. Though lose and loose have the same pronunciation, they have different meanings. The main difference between lose and loose is that lose is a verb whereas loose is mainly an adjective. Lose means to cease to have something whereas loose means detached or untethered. In this article, we are going to talk about the further difference between lose and loose.

Lose – Meaning and Usage

Lose comes from the Old English losian meaning to destroy or perish. Generally, we use the verb lose to say that we no longer have something. For example, “I have lost my wallet” means that I no longer have my wallet with me; it’s been misplaced or stolen. Lost is the past tense of lose.

According to the Oxford  dictionary, the verb lose can denote the following meanings

Be deprived of or cease to have or retain something

I want to lose weight, so I started dieting.

We have to get out of here before he loses his temper.

I don’t want to lose my job by helping you.

To be bereaved of someone by death

She lost her mother when she was just a baby.

He lost his whole family from that tsunami.

I know the pain of losing loved ones.

To suffer defeat or fail to win

Everyone thought he was going to lose the election, but he was able to defeat the other candidates.

France lost the final match against Argentina.

Main Difference - lose vs loose-

Loose – Meaning and Usage

Loose can be used as an adjective and a verb. However, it is important to know that in practice, loose is mainly used as an adjective. As an adjective, Loose means detached, untethered or not held in place. We use loose when we want to say that something is not firmly fixed in place. We say a dress has become loose when it no longer fits us, i.e. when the size is too large for us. We also use loose when we want to say that something is not tied or held together. For example, to wear one’s hair loose. You might have already heard of the term loose change. ‘Loose change’ refers to the small number of coins that you might have in your pocket.

The following examples will help will you to understand the different meanings of this word.

The little boy had a loose tooth.

She was wearing a loose black t-shirt and blue denim.

She wore loose clothes to hide her figure.

One of the train compartments came loose.

She wore her hair loose.

Loose can be also used as a verb. The verb loose means to release or set free.

He loosed the guard dogs on the intruders.

The chains were loosed.

Difference Between Lose and Loose

Difference Between Lose and Loose

Part of Speech

Lose is an irregular verb.

Loose is an adjective and a verb. But it is mainly used as an adjective.


Lose generally means to cease to have something.

Loose means detached, untethered or not held in place (adjective)Difference Between Lose and Loose - infographic

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