Definition of loop in English:

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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).
Example sentences
  • 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.
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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
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.
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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
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.
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]
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.
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'.

Words that rhyme with loop

bloop, cock-a-hoop, coop, croup, droop, drupe, dupe, goop, group, Guadeloupe, hoop, poop, recoup, roup, scoop, sloop, snoop, soup, stoep, stoop, stoup, stupe, swoop, troop, troupe, whoop

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: loop

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