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Related to loosen: unloosen

loosen the apron strings

To lessen the extent to which someone controls, influences, or monitors someone else, especially parents in relation to their children. Mothers these days are so fussy about their kids, having to know where they are at every second of the day. They would really do well to loosen the apron strings a little, if you ask me! Sending kids to summer camps has been in decline in recent years, as parents have become less and less inclined to loosen the apron strings.
See also: apron, loosen, string

loosen the purse strings

To become more liberal with one's expenditures; to increase the availability of money for spending purposes. After having to count my pennies for so long, it's nice to be able to loosen the purse strings a bit! We'd have a much better and more stable product if the boss would loosen the purse strings a little.
See also: loosen, purse, string

purse strings

The spending power of a given group, such as a family, company, country, etc. Their government is going to have to learn to tighten the purse strings if they want to continue receiving bailout money from the IMF. After my dad's gambling problem came to light, it was my mother who started holding the purse strings.
See also: purse, string

loosen (one's) tongue

To cause one to speak uninhibitedly. Often refers to the effect of alcohol. A few drinks will loosen her tongue, and then I'm sure she'll tell me the secret without me even having to ask. I've never met a reporter like Courtney. She can loosen the tongue of even the cagiest politician.
See also: loosen, tongue

loosen up

1. Literally, to become looser, less tight, or less restricting. If those shoes are stiff right now, just give them time—they'll loosen up.
2. To make something looser, less tight, or less restricting. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "loosen" and "up." Thanks, that massage really loosened up my shoulders. I can't seem to loosen the knot up. Loose up your grip a little and your hand won't hurt as much.
3. To relax and act in a less serious manner. Oh, loosen up! It's a party—no one wants to talk about work stuff.
4. To cause one to relax and act in a less serious manner. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "loosen" and "up." My sister is very shy, but for whatever reason, our cousin Sarah always manages to loosen her up.
See also: loosen, up

loosen someone or something up

to make someone's muscles and joints move more freely by exercising them. The exercise loosened me up quite nicely. It loosened up my legs. I have to do some exercises to loosen myself up.
See also: loosen, up

loosen someone up

Fig. to make someone or a group more relaxed and friendly. I loosened up the audience with a joke. Loosen yourself up. Relax and try to enjoy people.
See also: loosen, up

loosen up

to become loose or relaxed. Loosen up. Relax. We tried to get Mary to loosen up, but she did not respond.
See also: loosen, up

purse strings

Financial resources or control of them, as in His mother doesn't want to let go of the purse strings because he may make some foolish investments . This expression is often extended to hold or tighten or loosen the purse strings , as in As long as Dad holds the purse strings, we have to consider his wishes, or The company is tightening the purse strings and will not be hiring many new people this year . The purse strings in this idiom are the means of opening and closing a drawstring purse. [Early 1400s]
See also: purse, string

loosen the purse strings


loosen your purse strings

If you loosen the purse strings or loosen your purse strings, you allow more money to be spent. If the Treasury loosens the purse strings, many authorities will be delighted to spend. Companies are loosening their purse strings and making investments in network improvements.
See also: loosen, purse, string

loosen somebody’s ˈtongue

make somebody talk more freely than usual: A bottle of wine had loosened Harry’s tongue.
See also: loosen, tongue

loosen up

1. To cause someone or something to become more loose or relaxed: After the big meal, I loosened up my belt. The trainer loosened me up with a massage before the fight.
2. To become more loose or relaxed: The knots loosened up, and the captives worked themselves free. They seemed shy at first, but by the end of the dinner, the guests had really loosened up.
See also: loosen, up

loosen (someone's) tongue

To cause (someone) to speak freely or carelessly or to divulge information.
See also: loosen, tongue
References in periodicals archive ?
The two banks are planning to loosen their overdraft policies after facing much criticism from lawmakers about fees imposed by banks on customers.
The company will loosen the ore with an ammonia nitrate explosive, then place the crushed ore on leaching pads on top of clay covered with synthetic liners.
Vibration loosens nuts and bolts that hold the brake actuator air chamber clamp together.
Loosen the belt tensioner and rotate the belts on and off their pulleys.
With a 5/8-in open-end wrench, loosen the track adjuster bleed valve just enough to allow grease to flow.
He also suggested farmers to contact agriculture department for any quiry about cultivation of the Loosen fodder.
Property: 48155 Mnster, Linus Pauling Weg 1-5 Use lawn mowing: 390 m 2 Lawn debris and remove foliage: 390 m 2 Clean planting areas and loosen Tree care, pruning, deadwood removal: 26 pcs Cut shrubs / hedge, loosen soil: 188 m 2 clean way surface Demand power by arrangement and property: 48155 Mnster, Elbestrae 31 Mow lawn use: 1 110 m 2 Lawn debris and remove foliage: 1100 m 2 Loosen clean area for planting and water: 750 m 2 Tree care, pruning, deadwood removal: 24 pcs cut shrubs / hedges, loosen soil Requires power leaves removal More demand services by appointment.
Global Banking News-May 16, 2017--Brazilian central bank to loosen rules that block incoming foreign banks
From this it can be concluded that based on the direction of transverse load in a mufti-bolted-joint, some bolts may or may not loosen.
Ernst Loosen frowns under his tangle of salt and pepper curls.
The Korean company has found that an adhesive with insufficient bonding strength was used during assembly - and could cause a plug securing the pinion gear to the steering gear assembly to loosen.
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's parliament has approved contentious legislation to loosen constraints on the country's military, giving it a greater role.
Pick up one half and use your thumbs to push down on the center where the stem is and loosen up the seed, kind of like you are going to turn it inside out (but you're not).
The European Central Bank (ECB) is to loosen its terms for accepting security from Greek banks to let them access more of its funding, offering the country's lenders support as both stock and bond markets fall in Athens, Reuters reported on Thursday.