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Loose end   /lus ɛnd/   Listen
Loose end

noun
1.
Work that is left incomplete.  Synonym: unfinished business.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Loose end" Quotes from Famous Books



... pipe, and then saw him drop to the flat roof, hidden for the moment by a low parapet. Then there was another period of agonized waiting, for again a sentry was to pass. Fred used the brief interval of enforced inaction to loosen the rope and place it on the ground, tied to the loose end of the twine he took from his wrist, so that it would have a clear passage through the bushes. Then the coast was clear again, and he signalled to Boris to draw it up. Up, up went the twine; then the rope started. And at last it dangled against the side of the house. Fred, knowing ...
— The Boy Scouts In Russia • John Blaine

... very large fillets in the corner, with the view of diminishing the evil; but it would be preferable to make the bearings of the crank shafts spheroidal; and, indeed, it would probably be an improvement if most of the bearings about the engine were to be made in the same fashion. The loose end of the crank pin should be made not spheroidal, but consisting of a portion of a sphere; and a brass bush might then be fitted into the crank eye, that would completely encase the ball of the pin, and yet permit the outer end of the paddle shaft ...
— A Catechism of the Steam Engine • John Bourne

... humour of it. But a little detail like that wouldn't deter Alex. It will be an interest for the summer, she's always rather at a loose end when there's no hunting. She had taken up this socialistic business very thoroughly, organizing meetings and lectures. A completely new scheme for the upbringing of children seems to be a special sideline of the campaign. I'm rather ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... days of the garden suburb movement. One of the first sites chosen was off the Finchley Road. The place was in the building, and one of the streets—Laleham Gardens—had only some half a dozen houses in it, all unoccupied save one. It was a lonely, loose end of the suburb, terminating suddenly in open fields. From the unfinished end of the road the ground sloped down somewhat steeply to a pond, and beyond that began a small wood. The one house occupied had been bought by a ...
— Malvina of Brittany • Jerome K. Jerome

... had finished these vain adornments and Bastin had put away the things and tidied up, we sat down, rather at a loose end. We should have liked to walk but refrained from doing so for fear lest we might dirty our clean clothes. So we just sat and thought. At least Bickley thought, and so did I for a while until I gave it up. What was the use of thinking, seeing that we were face to face ...
— When the World Shook - Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot • H. Rider Haggard

... young footmen (it appeared) had arrived in Kirris-vean to spend a holiday on board-wages—their several employers having gone northward for the grouse, to incommodious shooting-boxes where a few servants sufficed. Finding themselves at a loose end (to use their own phrase for it) these three young men had hit on the wild—the happy—the almost delirious idea of a Regatta; and taking their courage in their hands had sought an interview with Sir Felix, to entreat his patronage for the scheme. They had found him in his most ...
— Corporal Sam and Other Stories • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... not say much, being a man of few words; but he picked up the loose end of the tablecloth and threw it over the remnants on ...
— Life's Handicap • Rudyard Kipling

... small instrument that was packed with them. There were spools of film, thin as tissue but amazingly strong. Examined against the light in the cabin, the film seemed to carry no image at all ... but there was another small machine that accepted the loose end of the film, and a series of lenses that glowed brightly with no apparent source of power. There was a thick block of shiny metal covered on one side with almost ...
— Gold in the Sky • Alan Edward Nourse

... a loose end. At first it was very pleasant to be a free man, able to go where I wanted without fearing anything. I had only been a month under the ban of the law, and it was quite enough for me. I went to the ...
— The Thirty-nine Steps • John Buchan

... the hypothesis that had inferred them. The hypothesis can be tested only by current events; it is then turned back upon the past, to give assurance of facts which themselves are hypothetical and remain hanging, as it were, to the loose end of the hypothesis itself. A hypothetical fact is a most dangerous creature, since it lives on the credit of a theory which in turn would be bankrupt if the fact should fail. Inferred past facts are more deceptive than facts prophesied, because ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... the remaining pile and drew out a coiled strip of leather many yards in length, ending in a noose,—a tough, well-seasoned lasso, looking as if it had seen service and was none the worse for it. He uncoiled a few yards of this and fastened it to the knob of a door. Then he threw the loose end out of the window so that it should hang by the open casement of Elsie's room. By this he let himself down opposite her window, and with a slight effort swung himself inside the room. He lighted a match, found a candle, and, having lighted that, looked curiously about ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... three-wheel pulley was fastened by means of a metal band around the lower part of the trunk. Several other pulleys between this and the boat multiplied the hauling power to such a degree that one person pulling on the loose end which was left after the rope had been passed back and forth many times through the several pulleys, could actually move the boat. The hull was completely encircled, the rope running along the sides and around the stern with another rope below near the keel so that ...
— Tom Slade at Temple Camp • Percy K. Fitzhugh

... in petticoats that seemed to promise you three ha'porth of kindness. A lost dog looking for a master! You're a stray man looking for a mistress. Miss Grammont being a woman is a little more selective than that. But if she's at a loose end as I suppose, she isn't protected by the sense of having made her selection. And she has no preconceptions of what she wants. You are a very interesting man in many ways. You carry marriage and entanglements lightly. With an air of being neither married nor entangled. ...
— The Secret Places of the Heart • H. G. Wells

... that Tony found him an hour later when he strolled into the salle, looking somewhat at a loose end and rather sorry ...
— The Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... of the windows without encouragement, but at the other found a board with a loose end, which she pried aside, till through begrimed glass she could see a ghastly, weeping sky of daybreak and, by craning her neck, peer down into the dark gully of ...
— Red Masquerade • Louis Joseph Vance

... this to one end of the connected ropes. She now proceeded to coil the twine carefully upon a smooth flat rock at her feet, after which she drew from her quiver a long, blunt-nosed arrow, and directly above the feathered end of the arrow attached the loose end of the twine. ...
— The Gaunt Gray Wolf - A Tale of Adventure With Ungava Bob • Dillon Wallace

... time I could see nothing of the two men. Next, in the light flashed from the stick, I guessed that Mr. Pike was in pursuit of the thing. He evidently must have captured it at the rail against the starboard rigging and caught a turn around it with a loose end of rope. As the vessel rolled to windward some sort of a struggle seemed to be going on. The second mate sprang to the mate's assistance, and, together, with more loose ends, they seemed to subdue ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... rope and caught him before he had gone a hundred yards. As I threw my horse on his haunches to receive the shock, the weight and momentum of the bull dragged my double-cinched saddle over my horse's head and sent me sprawling on the ground. In wrapping the loose end of the rope around the pommel of the saddle, I had given it a half hitch, and as I came to my feet my saddle and carbine were bumping merrily along after Toro. Regaining my horse, I soon overtook Tiburcio, who was attempting to turn the animal back from the ...
— A Texas Matchmaker • Andy Adams

... older and I seem to be at a loose end. D'you know I'm on the verge of thirty-seven—and I have no definite career? I'm rather tired ...
— Mrs. Warren's Daughter - A Story of the Woman's Movement • Sir Harry Johnston

... in reality the loose end of the painter which Larry had fastened to the trunk of the twisted live oak tree growing near the edge of the bank. As the water was quite deep right up alongside the shore Larry found no footing, and was in his haste making a bad job ...
— Chums in Dixie - or The Strange Cruise of a Motorboat • St. George Rathborne

... fifteen or twenty. I know it's a big one. One of our men— Dilloo, I think it was—saw him one day ashore. Look here, old chap, tell you what. We'll get some of the fellows to lend us a rope with a loose end, and a hook, and we'll set a night-line for the beggar, and catch him. ...
— The Rajah of Dah • George Manville Fenn

... the stick in position with one hand, she opened the window with the other, and looked out. She then drew in her head, and passed the loose end of the rope out of the window. Then she looked at me, and stood a little at one side, that I ...
— An Enemy To The King • Robert Neilson Stephens

... lonely; its circle of empty benches seemed to stare intently at it, as though some sort of unseen performance were going on for the benefit of a ghostly audience. Now and again a guy rope creaked, or a loose end of canvas flapped like faint, unreal applause, as the silence shut down again, it did not need much imagination to people the ring with dead and gone circus riders performing for the benefit of shadowy ...
— Three Elephant Power • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... head. "No, I haven't found any will, and there's not a corner left that I haven't turned inside out. I suppose he never really made it. Just talked about it, probably, as people are so fond of doing. And now I'm at a loose end; all alone in this big house with no one to speak to and nothing to do with myself. It's a beast of a day, or I should go out and try for a salmon, in self-defence. To-morrow I shall go South. And you, have you found out anything new ...
— The Ashiel mystery - A Detective Story • Mrs. Charles Bryce

... and Barrington was alone, staring at the doorway through which she had passed. A tangle of thoughts was in his brain, one loose end uppermost. He had ...
— The Light That Lures • Percy Brebner

... without any clue, and, true man of business that he was, he felt altogether at a loose end. Meanwhile, as he was pacing up and down towards the farther edge of the prosperous-looking farmyard, Dan uttered a growl and sprang into the road. The next minute there was a piercing cry, and Farmer Miles, brandishing his long whip, followed ...
— Betty Vivian - A Story of Haddo Court School • L. T. Meade

... "we shall have fresh fish to-morrow for breakfast," and went out to set it. I drove the stakes in the mud, spread the fyke in the boat, tied the end of one wing to the stake, and cast the whole into the water. The tide carried it out in a straight line. I got the loose end fastened to the boat, and found it impossible to row back against the tide with the fyke. I then untied it, and it went downstream, stake and all. I got it into the boat, rowed up, and set the stake again. Then I tied one end ...
— Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor - Volume I • Various

... to go back to is never at the same loose end as a man who has no need ever to be punctual for a solitary meal, and Hartley walked quickly because he wanted to get clear of his depression, rather than for any reason that compelled him to ...
— The Pointing Man - A Burmese Mystery • Marjorie Douie

... far as the Passage Slip, on the chance of meeting her. Somewhat to her surprise, as she passed Broad Quay she almost ran into Master Calvin Rosewarne, idling there with his hands in his pockets, and apparently at a loose end. ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... began to shoot. It was a foolish move, for he might have caught me by running, since I had neither spurs nor whip, and the horse was hampered by the loose end of rope at his knee. In any case, being an indifferent shot, he should have aimed at the Schimmel, not at me; but I suppose he wished to save his charger. One bullet sang past my head; a second did my business for me. It passed over my shoulder, as ...
— Prester John • John Buchan

... on to the inch and a quarter cable and bore the loose end away up the path. Presently one stood clear, waving a signal. Again the donkey began to puff and quiver, the line began to roll up on the drum, and the big yarder walked up the slope under its own power, a locomotive unneedful of rails, making ...
— Big Timber - A Story of the Northwest • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... has the Spaniard's thoughtful interest in a trifle. He pauses to note the number of the sparrows, as thick as leaves upon the trees. He carefully unfolds his cloak, gives the loose end a little shake, and casts it skilfully over his shoulder, so that it falls across his back, and, hanging there, displays the bright lining. He pauses to watch the result of an infantile accident. The baby picks ...
— The Grey Lady • Henry Seton Merriman

... this, especially if you lose your head a bit, you get hold of the loose end of the rope that's hanging from the post with one hand, and the end of the line with the clothes on with the other, and try to pull 'em far enough together to make a knot. And that's about all you ...
— Joe Wilson and His Mates • Henry Lawson

... of his square-tailed coat. To complete his strange appearance, Captain Flint sat perched upon his shoulder and gabbling odds and ends of purposeless sea-talk. I had a line about my waist, and followed obediently after the sea-cook, who held the loose end of the rope, now in his free hand, now between his powerful teeth. For all the world, I was led like ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... The loose end of the line is then twisted once or twice round the tight portion, and finally given to an assistant to hold (see Fig. 41). The foot is thus held from the ground, and violent ...
— Diseases of the Horse's Foot • Harry Caulton Reeks

... night in early April, Ginsburg, coming across from New Jersey, landed off a ferryboat at Christopher Street. He had gone across the river to gather up a loose end of the evidence accumulating against Chappy Morgan, king of the wireless wire-tappers. It was nearly midnight when he emerged from the ferryhouse. In sight was no surface car; so he set out afoot to walk across town to where he lived on ...
— From Place to Place • Irvin S. Cobb

... came out of the Army after the Armistice, I found myself, like many hundreds of other ex-officers, completely at a loose end, without a shilling in the world over and above the gratuity of between two and three hundred pounds to which my period of commissioned ...
— The Golden Face - A Great 'Crook' Romance • William Le Queux

... that at the third gun they were to cut away. Twelve keen swords must strike simultaneously and with equal power, and each must sever completely and instantly three strands of heavy cable that no loose end fouling a block bring immediate disaster ...
— The Chessmen of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... had dropped upon the ice, he gave a yell that brought Skipper Ed to the water's edge in a hurry, and when Skipper Ed came running down Bobby had already thrown off his netsek and his mittens and was knotting the loose end of the harpoon line around his waist. Grasping the harpoon, he cast it upon the main ...
— Bobby of the Labrador • Dillon Wallace

... sure. We were awfully worried about him after the war. He was all at a loose end without anything to do. And dreadfully restless. We thought he'd never settle to anything again. And I was afraid he'd want to ...
— Anne Severn and the Fieldings • May Sinclair

... threw its loose end into the bin, watching with a fascinated gaze the fashion in which it was ...
— A Pagan of the Hills • Charles Neville Buck

... led in the direction of a military career, and presently he went out to the Cape, where he spent a year or two in a police force which was in time disbanded, and he returned to England once more at a loose end. ...
— A Modern Mercenary • Kate Prichard and Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard

... the lapping right through under the re-wound portion, where it will be held secure until again cut through by the thumb-nail. This is the method employed in fastening off new lappings. If you have not the time or patience to do it this way a little sealing wax will hold the loose end ...
— The Bow, Its History, Manufacture and Use - 'The Strad' Library, No. III. • Henry Saint-George

... He hitched the loose end of the rope round the forward thwart of the boat, and, swinging himself up the ladder, stood the next moment on the deck. "Anything very dreadful on board?" he inquired sarcastically, as he and his ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins



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