(to be) at loose ends

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - at loose ends

"(to be) at loose ends"

not knowing what to do especially because of some upsetting change;

in an unsettled or uncertain situation;

nervous and anxious;

bored with nothing to do;



Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - at loose ends

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Why is everyone wandering around the office with nothing to do?

Colleague 2:  Everyone is at loose ends.

Colleague 1:  Why is that?

Colleague 2:  We were expecting a delegation from our biggest customer and everyone was prepared with presentations and tours and other activities for the visitors.  Now, with no visitors, everyone is unsure of what to do.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - at loose ends

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  I need to get out of the house. My husband is driving me crazy.

Friend 2:  Does he still not have a job?

Friend 1:  After the merger and he lost his job, he has been wandering around at loose ends. I'm not sure he knows which direction to take next in his life. He is really unsure and confused and a little afraid.

(to be) at loose ends - Usage:


(to be) at loose ends - Gerund Form:

Being at loose ends after losing your job is normal.

(to be) at loose ends - Examples:

1)  This was my Sunday to speak and I felt a bit at loose ends with what I had to say.

2)  ... it's just now you're sort of at loose ends and unsure of your future but the anticipation and worry are always worse than ...

3)  Not that he's been at loose ends. An in-demand songwriter, Frew co-penned the title single ...

4)  When that disappears, they often find themselves at loose ends, searching for a purpose.

5)  I am working at the business/relationship but feel at loose ends. Do you see any big changes ahead?

6)  ... in the meantime, tens of thousands of men with military training are put at loose ends each year, albeit without their army weapons, in a country rife with ...

7)  The clammy mix of anxiety, confusion and fear, leaving everything and everyone at loose ends, is a perfect metaphor of America in the Bush years.

8)  In 1997, both my husband and I were laid off and at loose ends, so we got into a hobble economically.

9)  In 1986, at age 30, he found himself at loose ends; his friends were all getting married, and he decided that he needed ...

10)  I am newly retired from teaching and feel at loose ends. I am not sure what I want to do next.

11)  Mohamed Merah stands before us like an overgrown adolescent, unemployed, at loose ends, soft-hearted but at the same time disturbed and incoherent.

12)  I graduated in November 2010 and was at loose ends as no matter how hard I tried, I could not find a good job.

13)  Darwin, a young Englishman at loose ends who had taken up an interest in natural history, obtained an appointment from ...

14)  ... at least those men who are at loose ends and damaged.

15)  ... so I'm a little bit at loose ends as to what I want to do.

16)  ... she welcomes one of her New York friends who's pregnant and at loose ends, ...

17)  As a former (public school) teacher I was at loose ends how to educate my daughter.

18)  Finding myself at loose ends one summer in Berkeley, I built a mahogany coffee table.

19)  Michael had been at loose ends since decommissioning from the army several years back.

20)  Farmers are always early risers, and Old MacDonald is at loose ends now that Young MacDonald has taken over.