Lose vs Loose


"Lose" is a verb that means to be deprived of something or to fail to keep possession of something. It's used to describe misplacing something, experiencing a defeat, or failing to win.

  • Don't lose your keys. You'll need them to unlock the door.
  • Our team cannot afford to lose this match if we want to advance to the finals.


"Loose" is an adjective that means not tight or firmly fixed in place; it can also mean free from constraint or strictness. It's used to describe something that is not securely fastened or something that is relaxed or unconstrained.

  • The dog escaped because the leash was too loose.
  • She prefers to wear loose-fitting clothing for comfort.

Here's a tip to remember the difference:

  • "Lose" rhymes with "choose" and "snooze." Remember that both "lose" and "choose" have double 'o's.
  • "Loose" rhymes with "goose." Just like a goose is free and unconstrained, think of "loose" as describing something that's not tightly held.

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