‘Loose’ or ‘lose’?

Loose and lose are two completely distinct words, with different meanings and pronunciations. Below is a quick reference table outlining the differences between lose and loose:

rhymes with booze
rhymes with goose

verb forms
lose; losing; lost
loose; loosing; loosed
main verb meaning
to be unable to find or keep something
to release something

adjective forms
looser; loosest


*Note: the Oxford English Dictionary does have entries for ‘lose’ as a noun (one meaning ‘an instance of losing’, the other ‘praise; renown’), but neither is listed in our dictionaries of current English.

You can read more about and find further examples of the differences between the two words on the Oxford Dictionaries blog.


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