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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 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

loosen up (somebody)

also loosen somebody up
to behave in a relaxed, informal way Slowly she began to loosen up and, by the second semester, she was making friends with her classmates. The question was supposed to loosen people up and chase away their anxieties.
See also: loosen, up

loosen your tongue

to cause you to talk without thinking carefully about what you are saying The vodka really loosened her tongue and I found out exactly what happened that night.
See also: loosen, tongue

loosen your tongue

if alcohol loosens your tongue, it makes you talk a lot without thinking carefully about what you are saying Her tongue loosened by drink, she began to say things that she would later regret.
See also: loosen, tongue

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 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 ?
There are no firm plans yet for Loosen My Load, although Paddy Power make him a 14-1 shot for their Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November.
Vickers hopes to expand Loosen the Leash to other juvenile facilities and open a residential dog training facility to help former offenders rebuild their lives.
China will have to find a way to loosen up, without losing control, if it wants to be truly innovative.
Dual heat-treated steel ripper shanks can be quickly lowered to a depth of 7 inches to loosen hard packed areas.
The result of the research is Kroil, the world's largest selling penetrating oil to loosen frozen metal parts.
Bag activators loosen compacted materials and promote emptying.
Based on ASTHPHYLLIN, the company's proprietary ethical drug indicated for asthma, the new product contains diprophylline, dl-methylephedrine hydrochloride, noscapine, and diphenhydramine hydrochloride, and helps alleviate coughing and loosen phlegm.
So it's not you who has to loosen up but rather the pair of them who should wise up and have the decency to accept that their behaviour was at best stupid and at worse a betrayal of their friendship with you.
In July 2000, the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) expressed concern over Ireland's "restrictive" abortion legislation, and in July 2001 the committee urged Guatemala to loosen its abortion law.
Shock, pressure, vibration, temperature change--all combine to loosen fastener threads, which inevitably come loose at the worst possible time when you can least afford it.
A tool used to maximize warm-up and stretching time, rollers help loosen your upper and lower back, hamstrings and whatever else is tight.
By creating suction and negative pressure, cupping is used to drain excess fluids and toxins, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue, and bring blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin.
These same sticky soils are easier to loosen if the temperature is raised to 150 degrees or 160 degrees.
A ceruminolytic should disrupt the structural integrity of the keratin sheets and thereby soften, loosen, liquefy, and/or dissolve cerumen and perhaps even float it out.