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Lose vs Loose


  • ‘Lose’ (verb) means ‘fail to win’ or ‘cease to retain something (or someone)’.
  • ‘Loose’ (adj) means ‘not fitting tightly or being closely in place’.

What’s the difference between ‘lose’ and ‘loose’?

Not only do these two words belong to a different class (verb vs adjective), but they also mean entirely different things (see above definitions). The reason they are so frequently confused is because they sound the same, and are spelt almost identically.

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How they’re used

Example sentences with ‘lose’

  • The desire to lose weight becomes overwhelming in certain patients.
  • Cells under autophagic stress lose their attachment capability.

Example sentences with ‘loose’

  • This technique was used to remove loose bodies in large joints.
  • Loose stems can be misidentified, resulting in poor treatment.