loose vs lose

Loose …

Young children get what we call a “loose tooth.” That is, an adult tooth starts pushing on a baby tooth. This makes the baby tooth wiggle back and forth when gently touched with a finger. 

It is a “loose” tooth because the tooth is not tightly held in by the gums anymore.  

“Loose” means anything free of binding or restraint. It is the opposite of tight.

Loose is an adjective – it can describe pants or a sweater that is too big. 

People working from home tend to wear clothing that is “loose,” because it is less restrictive and more comfortable than more formal office clothes. 

For pronunciation, “loose” rhymes with “juice” and the name “Bruce.” The “s” is voiceless, sounding like the “s” in “hiss” and “snake” or the “c” in “face.”

If you pronounce “loose” with a voiced “z” sound instead of a “ss” sound, the word will be confused with the word, LOSE. 

Lose

Children will lose their loose teeth. That is, they will no longer have the baby tooth in their mouth – the tooth, one by one, fall out. 

“Lose” is an irregular verb: lose – lost – lost.  It rhymes with “news” and “booze.” 

“Lose” is what happens when leave your phone in a taxi and realize it hours later. 

“Lose” is what happens when you go to a casino, bet a lot of money – and do not have any luck. 

When you play a game, there is usually one person or team who wins – and the others lose.

One of the only happy associations with “lose” is when you go on a diet and lose weight.

BONUS WORD: Loss

“Loss” is the noun form that comes from losing. 

“Loss” rhymes with “boss” and “sauce.”

A “loss” is often connected with some sad event:

  • Losing your job is a painful loss
  • War produces terrible loss of life.
  • When a married couple breaks up, children feel the loss.

The loss of a phone (like one left in a taxi) is an awful inconvenience — especially if the phone is your work phone and you have just lost your job. That is a double loss