Definition of loop in English:


Line breaks: loop
Pronunciation: /luːp


  • 1A shape produced by a curve that bends round and crosses itself: make a loop in the twine
    More example sentences
    • The shape of the loop seems simple but in fact it is not.
    • Sitting in the middle of his mantelpiece was an object of gold, about eight inches tall and six wide, shaped like a cross with a loop at the top.
    • They move at the same speed running in big loops round and round with little or no hope of either getting open and or scoring.
    bend, curve, kink, arc
  • 1.1A length of thread, rope, or similar material, doubled or crossing itself, used as a fastening or handle: a loop of rope tied round their wrists
    More example sentences
    • It was a process a bit like tying a granny knot: twisting one edge of the sausage rope into a loop, then threading the other end through, looping it, and twisting again.
    • Looser fitting dresses fell from square dungaree-style tops, held up with shoulder straps which roped through little loops along the neckline.
    • They knew what I was about to suggest: tie the short rope permanently to our dead tree, put a loop in the end, and hang the long ropes through the loop.
    coil, hoop, ring, circle, noose, oval, spiral, curl, twirl, whorl, twist, hook, zigzag, helix, convolution, incurvation
  • 1.2A curved stroke forming part of a letter (e.g. b, p).
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    • She intently studied his penmanship, admiring the elegant arches, careless flicks, and long loops of his letters.
    • In three of the signatures, Shakespeare places an ornamental dot within the final loop of the ‘W’.
    • The letters swooped across the page with graceful loops.
  • 1.3 (also loop line) British A length of railway track which is connected at either end to the main line and on to which trains can be diverted to allow others to pass.
    More example sentences
    • A Network Rail spokeswoman said one wagon in the middle section of the train derailed on a freight loop line, knocking the front of the train onto the main line and damaging a set of points.
    • Plans to build a loop line so more than one train could use the branch, longer platforms and a bridge at Freeport have been shunted aside indefinitely by the Government's Strategic Rail Authority in a financial freeze.
    • But the London to Birmingham railway bypassed it in 1838, and a loop line to Birmingham was only established in 1872.
  • 1.4 (also loop road) British A stretch of road that diverges from a main road and joins it again.
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    • The front entrance which is equivalent to the second floor is joined by a circular drive to the loop road, at an elevation of approximately 91.4 m.
    • The Ivy Lane loop road will close for up to 10 weeks from Monday, with a one-way system imposed until work is completed.
    • The open space is popular with neighborhood residents, who climb the red-earth paths and jog on the loop road with their dogs.
  • 1.5 (also loop-the-loop) A manoeuvre in which an aircraft describes a vertical circle in the air.
    More example sentences
    • They got to the 9m stop and started doing loop-the-loops and vertical figure-eights between the bars.
    • The technique was pretty much the same as in a Phoenix, although he had to remember that he couldn't do manoeuvres like a loop-the-loop.
    • A pilot fell out of his glider during a loop-the-loop because he'd forgotten to fasten his seatbelt.
  • 1.6 Skating A manoeuvre describing a curve that crosses itself, made on a single edge.
    More example sentences
    • He did land triple axel/triple toe, another triple axel, and triple salchow, loop and lutz.
    • The team went on to complete a high double twist, a throw triple loop, side-by-side triple toeloops, and a throw triple Salchow.
    • She tried triple lutz/triple loop, but just missed on the second jump and fell.
  • 2A structure, series, or process, the end of which is connected to the beginning: a feedback loop
    More example sentences
    • During their lifetime, the crows carry out the inner loop of the adaptation process.
    • They're locked in a feedback loop, a tangled form of denial.
    • The method would return to the beginning of the selection loop and scrutinize any job that was unfilled.
  • 2.1An endless strip of tape or film allowing continuous repetition.
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    • There have been between five and eight people reviewing two ten second loops of tape almost continuously for two days.
    • The protagonist's state of mind is manifested through extreme film loops and continually recurring sound motifs.
    • They were playing HDTV loops of saturated colored landscapes and the entire room would change color every few seconds, from all the backlights.
  • 2.2A complete circuit for an electric current.
    More example sentences
    • When you pick up a handset it generates a loop current in the circuit.
    • The circuit includes a feedback loop that adjusts the output signal so that the lower voltages are chopped at a reference voltage input into the driver.
    • When any charged particle is rotating, it behaves like a current loop with a magnetic moment.
  • 2.3 Computing A programmed sequence of instructions that is repeated until or while a particular condition is satisfied.
    More example sentences
    • Since programs often execute the same loops and subroutines over and over, the translation cache is very effective.
    • With the exception of the HD demo loops, all programming is identical.
    • As we saw last month, intelligent use of custom actions means creating our own mini-language, with its own loops, conditionals and variables.


[with object and adverbial] Back to top  
  • 1Form (something) into a loop or loops; encircle: she looped her arms around his neck
    More example sentences
    • Without waiting for a response, she grabbed hold of one of Isabella's arm, looped it through her own, and then pulled her into the drawing room.
    • He smiled and grabbed my hand and looped it through his arm.
    • It was a process a bit like tying a granny knot: twisting one edge of the sausage rope into a loop, then threading the other end through, looping it, and twisting again.
    coil, wind, twist, snake, wreathe, spiral, form a hoop with, form hoops with, make a circle with, make circles with, bend into spirals/whorls
  • 1.1 [no object, with adverbial] Follow a course that forms a loop or loops: the canal loops for two miles through the city
    More example sentences
    • As they looped around the tennis course Jake and Ryan threw in a planned surge abandoning Jonah.
    • With nothing to follow, I loop out and back, hoping to sight a cable emerging further out from the wreck.
    • Through the stones, walkers will be able to trace the course of a farmer's year simply by following the route, which loops from Stenkrith to Hartley and back.
    wind, curve, bend, twist, turn, snake, meander, coil, spiral, corkscrew; encircle, form a ring round, surround, encompass
    rare incurvate
  • 1.2Put into or execute a loop of tape, film, or computing instructions.
    More example sentences
    • The main consideration when choosing a digital device is if the device loops a recorded clip of sound or synthesizes its own sound.
    • There is a schedule and the film will not be looped.
    • It loops on standard input, reading one line at a time, and attempts to pattern-match on content of interest.


in (or out of) the loop

informal Aware (or unaware) of information known to only a privileged few: he complained of being kept out of the loop and threatened to resign
More example sentences
  • Currently that's the scoop we've got for you - we'll keep you in the loop about new information as it becomes available to us.
  • She tries to keep us informed and in the loop with most of the stuff that goes on.
  • Gossip isn't always vicious, sometimes it's just informative and keeps you in the loop.

loop the loop

(Of an aircraft) describe a vertical circle in the air: Julie will loop the loop next month on her first trip into the skies
More example sentences
  • Charlotte says she is used to heights - not just because she is 6ft 1 in tall, but also because she when she was an air cadet she loved looping the loop in aircraft flown by RAF pilots.
  • While she was having ‘a fantastic time looping the loop, undertaking twinkle rolls and brake turns’, I wonder if she gave any thought to those living in villages and countryside to the south of the city under her aircraft.
  • Coleen, who admitted she had not been looking forward to the trip, threw caution to the wind and ended up having a fantastic time looping the loop and soaring above the clouds during her visit to the RAF base.

throw (or knock) someone for a loop

North American informal Surprise or astonish someone: the emotional aspect of it all threw us for a loop
More example sentences
  • I can't dictate those parameters and that throws me for a loop.
  • I suppose it's amusing that I have no problems using a mouse or trackball, but this ‘natural’ pen interface is throwing me for a loop because it's not a direct interface.
  • The two people who are supposed to love you the most - love you no matter what - left me and it really did knock me for a loop.


late Middle English: of unknown origin; compare with Scottish Gaelic lùb 'loop, bend'.

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