Wednesday, 7 October 2015

What is the difference between loosen and unloosen?

None, or almost none.


There are two different prefixes here.


The familiar one means "not": unhappy, unfair, unusual, unseen.


The other prefix is rarer. I'll quote the American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition:

1. To reverse or undo the result of a specified action: unbind.

2a. To deprive of or remove a specified thing: unfrock.

b. To release, free, or remove from: unyoke.

3. Used as an intensive: unloose.



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