loosen

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Related to loosened: loosened up

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

or

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

v.
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 ?
While on the floor he was kicked in the mouth area with such force it shattered the roof of his mouth and loosened four teeth."
The prosecution at Mold Crown Court claimed Bellis, 56, loosened the wheel nuts on the passenger side front wheel of his pick-up.
"Because there wasn't equal loading on all the threads, some of the bolts loosened and stripped," says Reaser.
Reports that fragments were already falling from Columbia as it flew over California, several minutes before it broke apart over Texas, are consistent with the gradual intensifying of a problem that might have begun with a few tiles loosened or dislodged at liftoff.
The current project tests the hypothesis that auxin-induced growth of tobacco leaf tissues results either from increased production of wall loosening enzymes and/or from increased susceptibility of the cell wall to be loosened without a lowering of pH.
The loosely coupled systems model focuses attention on the dialectical quality of the relationship between the two systems (at once loosened from and coupled to), on the independence, yet mutual influence, of the emerging and existing organizations, on both tacit and explicit loosenings and couplings, and on both innovators and managers as co-creators of synergy between project concept and organization.
Sean hopped off, ground staff loosened the horse's saddle and eventually dislodged him.
Some people find that after they've moved around and loosened up their stiff joints and muscles, dressing is easier.
Small shot is needed to completely scour the surface, removing loosened components so that the work is thoroughly and uniformly clean.
A loosened bolt could affect the performance of the knee air bag, increasing the risk of injury during a crash.
The central bank of Peru has announced that it has loosened its currency reserve rule.
But a few other states went in the opposite direction and loosened their firearms legislation in order to preserve Second Amendments rights.
When the locking ring needs to be loosened, do it with cushioned slip-joint pliers, NSN 5120-00-624-8065.
After this action, the foam and loosened soil are easily rinsed away.
Many people could avoid foot aches if they laced their sneakers and shoes properly from the start and always loosened the start and always loosened the ties before slipping a foot in, says Carol Frey of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.