'Lose' or 'Loose'?

(Last Updated: 30 March 2022)

Writing loose instead of lose is a very common spelling mistake.

Lose is a verb meaning 'to no longer have something', 'to have less of something', or 'to be defeated':

Stay away from this hotel if you don't want to lose your money and have your things stolen.

Anna is trying to lose weight.

If you don't want to lose the match, you should start practising now.

Loose is an adjective or describing word meaning 'not firmly fixed' or 'not fitting closely':

There are various treatment options for a loose tooth.

Without socks, my shoes are too loose.

Tips for remembering the difference

With lose, you lose the second O.

Examples from the media

When you lose your job, often your first thoughts will turn towards money and the need to keep the financial stream flowing. —The Sydney Morning Herald

A veteran engineer dubbed 'Hong Kong's Detective Galileo' has questioned the MTR Corporation's explanation that a loose billboard component was responsible for a rare accident in which a pair of carriage doors fell off a moving train as it pulled into a busy station on Thursday. —South China Morning Post

Real-world examples of misuse


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