at loose ends


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Related to at loose ends: out of whack, same old same old, pay a visit, along the lines, can't hack it, worse for wear, To Say the Least

*at loose ends

restless and unsettled; unemployed. (*Typically: be ~; leave someone ~.) Just before school starts, all the children are at loose ends. Jane has been at loose ends ever since she lost her job.
See also: end, loose

at loose ends

not knowing what to do esp. because of some upsetting change He was at loose ends when their long-term relationship broke up.
Etymology: based on the idea of a string or rope with ends that are not neatly tied together
See also: end, loose

at loose ends

In an unsettled or uncertain situation. For example, This whole visit has left me feeling restless, constantly at loose ends, or Jane couldn't find a job this year and so is at loose ends for the summer. [Mid-1800s]
See also: end, loose

at loose ends

mod. nervous and anxious; bored with nothing to do; unemployed. Tom usually works puzzles whenever he’s at loose ends.
See also: end, loose

at loose ends

Without a clear purpose or regular occupation; unsettled in one's affairs: "At loose ends with family gone ... I joined some clubs thinking to find companionship and enrich my life" (Ruth Daniels).
See also: end, loose
References in periodicals archive ?
It's there that Bob makes eye contact with Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson, fiercely funny and intelligent), who, like Bob, is at loose ends in her life.
Mary, however, arrives alone at the remote Himalayan village 7000 feet above the plains of Northern India, because Richard had been killed in a hit-and-run accident a little over a year before, and she is still at loose ends.
I was doubly on the road, away from being away, free, but also somewhat at loose ends, unfocused.
Isidore's has left her at loose ends, without challenge or purpose.
When singer-songwriter Tommy Henriksen moved to Los Angeles, he found himself broke and at loose ends.
There is no reason seniors have to be lonely or at loose ends," said Nina Frazier, center director.