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verb re·lax \ri-ˈlaks\

Simple Definition of relax

  • : to become or to cause (something) to become less tense, tight, or stiff

  • : to stop feeling nervous or worried

  • : to spend time resting or doing something enjoyable especially after you have been doing work

Full Definition of relax

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make less tense or rigid :  slacken <relaxed his grip>

  3. 2 :  to make less severe or stringent :  modify <relax immigration laws>

  4. 3 :  to deprive of energy, zeal, or strength of purpose

  5. 4 :  to relieve from nervous tension

  6. 5 :  to treat (hair) chemically in order to relax curls

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to become lax, weak, or loose :  rest

  9. 2 :  to become less intense or severe <hoped the committee would relax in its opposition>

  10. 3 of a muscle or muscle fiber :  to become inactive and lengthen

  11. 4 :  to cast off social restraint, nervous tension, or anxiety <couldn't relax in crowds>

  12. 5 :  to seek rest or recreation <relax at the seashore>

  13. 6 :  to relieve constipation

  14. 7 :  to attain equilibrium following the abrupt removal of some influence (as light, high temperature, or stress)

re·lax·er noun

Examples of relax

  1. The muscles in my neck and shoulders should relax after a nice hot shower.

  2. A hot shower relaxed the tight muscles in my neck and shoulders.

  3. I can't relax with all this noise!

  4. Just relax, there's nothing to worry about.

  5. Try to relax and enjoy the ride.

Origin of relax

Middle English, from Latin relaxare, from re- + laxare to loosen, from laxus loose — more at slack

First Known Use: 15th century

RELAX Defined for Kids


verb re·lax \ri-ˈlaks\

Definition of relax


  1. 1 :  to make or become loose or less tense <Relax your muscles.> <She relaxed her grip on the reins.>

  2. 2 :  to make or become less severe or strict <Mom relaxed the rules for the summer.>

  3. 3 :  to become calm and free from stress

  4. 4 :  to seek rest or enjoyment <You can relax at the beach.>

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb re·lax \ri-ˈlaks\

Medical Definition of relax

  1. 1:  to slacken or make less tense or rigid <alternately contracting and relaxing their muscles>

  2. 2:  to relieve from nervous tension

  3. 3:  to relieve from constipation <medications to relax the bowels>

  4. intransitive verb

  5. 1of a muscle or muscle fiber :  to return to an inactive or resting state; especially :  to become inactive and lengthen

  6. 2:  to cast off social restraint, nervous tension, or anxiety <couldn't relax in crowds>

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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