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Related to loosen: unloosen

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 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

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

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

loosen somebody’s ˈtongue

make somebody talk more freely than usual: A bottle of wine had loosened Harry’s tongue.
See also: loosen, tongue
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

loosen (someone's) tongue

To cause (someone) to speak freely or carelessly or to divulge information.
See also: loosen, tongue
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Loosen family settled on the Mosel River, the heart of German wine-growing.
Still, the question is no longer whether Khamenehi will loosen state controls, but how far he is prepared to loosen them.
Loosen''s Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese 2009 is a cracker.
Loosen My Load's last campaign ended when he was upped in trip to 3m1f and finished fifth in the Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Chase, but the sevenyear-old makes his comeback over 2m4f and De Bromhead is delighted with his preparation.
Global Banking News-April 25, 2011--China could loosen restrictions on banks operating in Taiwan(C)2011 ENPublishing - http://www.enpublishing.co.uk
The oil is said to loosen corroded bolts, nuts and parts without leaving a powerful smell.
aid to Gaza and called on Israel to loosen its blockade.
HENRY DE BROMHEAD was back in the winner's circle at Cheltenham for the first time since Sizing Europe's Greatwood Hurdle win two years ago as Loosen My Load struck in the Sharp Novices' Hurdle.
They have a sliding arm at the base to loosen the sponge and release it after cooking.
This serves two main purposes: 1) To loosen up their muscles to allow them to work and perform effectively.
The company has been buoyed by the possibility that President Barack Obama might loosen restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
The program, Loosen the Leash, pairs juvenile offenders with rescued dogs for three months, during which the offenders live with and train the dogs, preparing them for adoption.
China should loosen its grip on the media beyond the Olympic Games and not just for foreign reporters, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding said on 12 April,athe second day of her visit to Beijing.
The result of the research is Kroil, the world's largest selling penetrating oil to loosen frozen metal parts.