loosen

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Related to loosens: loosens 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. To relax and act in a less serious manner. Oh, loosen up! It's a party—no one wants to talk about work stuff.
2. 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 a few drinks usually loosen her up.
3. To become less tight or restricting. If those shoes are stiff right now, just give them time—they'll loosen up.
4. To make something less tight or 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 up the knot in this chain.
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 ?
Analyzing interviews from 13 innovation projects in two Fortune 500 corporations, everyday actions that loosen and couple innovation and management systems are identified.
Eight specific mechanisms that serve to loosen and/or couple project and organization are identified as well as observations about the dynamics of the loosely-coupled systems model in this application.
the use of ad hoc, flexible structures, and teaming, loosen the project at the local level.
Then there's the other John Wall, the one who dances on the sideline before a game or cracks a joke in the locker room, his own way to loosen up and eliminate nerves.
This stretch helps loosen your calf muscle, which takes a pounding from running.
You can also tap it lightly against your hand to loosen as much dirt and sand as possible.
It takes a 1 1/4-in and a 1 3/16-in open-end wrench to loosen the connection.
Loosen the two bolts holding the belt tensioner and slide tension until the roller touches the belts.
Loosen the belt tensioner and rotate the belts on and off their pulleys.
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.
Then twist the valve's cap to loosen any dirt stuck inside.