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Related to loosening: tightening, loosening of association

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 ?
Since FHA loans cater to lower credit scores but often come with higher costs, an increase in privately insured mortgages would indicate mortgage credit is loosening.
There is the possibility that Khamenehi will tighten the screws in a few areas where the rightwing clergy feels strongest, while loosening up in areas where they do not feel as strongly.
Given these findings, it was interpreted as aseptic loosening of the acetabular component and the patient was proposed for revision surgery.
Recent advances in the better understanding of how organisms behave and of microbiological techniques such as sonification of the biofilm around the implant and prolonged culture have produced numerous reports showing that in cases labelled aseptic loosening, organisms of low virulence such as Propionibacterium acnes (a skin commensal) can be identified in up to 72% of cases.
The process of screwing up the working body into the estimated depth of loosening is based on the compatibility properties of frozen grounds.
Conservation and contextualism followed, concerned to reinstate the temporal, formal and experiential contiguities of the city, not only as mere nostalgia but as a loosening of the blinkers of modernity.
For example, in some instances loosening a frozen metal part requires that the molecular bond of oxidation be broken at the first molecular level.
For decades the 18-34 age group has been the focus of advertisers and marketers who seek their dollars and attention, resulting in an increased diet of sex and violence in the media and a loosening of general media restrictions on content.
There may be times when loosening the credit standards makes good sense--as a courtesy to an especially good customer and with the CFO's OK.
A hinged top permits fast, easy access for cleaning by loosening two knurled knobs.
Her account may contribute to loosening orthodoxy's grip.
For accurate atmospheric measurement of both Saturn from the Cassini orbiter and of Titan from the Huygens probe, several hundred bolts must maintain vacuum-tight sealed cavities for the duration of their mission, with no thread loosening or stripping.
Following the debacle of the Math A Regents exam last June, New York is loosening testing requirements for high school graduation.
The team studied 40 men: 20 with normal eyesight and 20 with glaucoma, measuring intraocular pressure with the men's shirt collars open, after wearing a tight necktie for 3 minutes, and 3 minutes after loosening it (Br.
And if you're looking for funding, investors will want to see a well-prepared business plan before they even think about loosening the purse stags.