relax

verb
re·​lax | \ ri-ˈlaks How to pronounce relax (audio) \
relaxed; relaxing; relaxes

Definition of relax

transitive verb

1 : to make less tense or rigid : slacken relaxed his grip
2 : to make less severe or stringent : modify relax immigration laws
3 : to deprive of energy, zeal, or strength of purpose
4 : to relieve from nervous tension
5 : to treat (hair) chemically in order to relax curls

intransitive verb

1 : to become lax, weak, or loose : rest
2 : to become less intense or severe hoped the committee would relax in its opposition
3 of a muscle or muscle fiber : to become inactive and lengthen
4 : to cast off social restraint, nervous tension, or anxiety couldn't relax in crowds
5 : to seek rest or recreation relax at the seashore
6 : to relieve constipation
7 : to attain equilibrium following the abrupt removal of some influence (such as light, high temperature, or stress)

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Other Words from relax

relaxer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for relax

Synonyms

chill, chill out [slang], decompress, de-stress, loosen up, mellow (out), unwind, wind down

Antonyms

tense (up)

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Examples of relax in a Sentence

The muscles in my neck and shoulders should relax after a nice hot shower. A hot shower relaxed the tight muscles in my neck and shoulders. I can't relax with all this noise! Just relax, there's nothing to worry about. Try to relax and enjoy the ride.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Maybe Brienne can finally have that glass of wine and relax for a second. Courtney Shea, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brienne of Tarth Lives—And Gwendoline Christie Has Some Thoughts About that Love Triangle," 6 May 2019 The tsunami hit around 9:30PM local time, when many residents and visitors were relaxing near the beach on the islands of Java and Sumatra, on either side of the Sunda Strait, a narrow body of water that links the Indian Ocean to the Java Sea. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Deadly Indonesian tsunami was not caused by an earthquake," 23 Dec. 2018 Other than that, sit back, relax, and enjoy your upcycled Modpool. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Shipping Container Pool Can Be Installed in Minutes," 29 Apr. 2019 Daniel Fish guided me very slowly away from that, guiding me to relax and do the material like no one had. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Why Patrick Vaill is the Most Heartbreaking Jud Fry Ever Cast in Oklahoma!," 26 Apr. 2019 The Bedroom There's something about the comfort of your own room (and bed) that allows you to relax and enjoy the moment. Glamour, "The 12 Best Places to Have Sex," 6 Apr. 2019 If uptown is a place to focus on work, then downtown is where the couple spend their time relaxing and exploring new neighborhoods. Alina Cho, ELLE Decor, "Uptown Glamour Goes Downtown in a Bold West Village Pad," 22 Feb. 2019 Western cruisers think of cruises as much more than that, as an opportunity to relax and travel. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "For Royal Caribbean, a Good Ground Game Strengthens Sea Legs in China," 19 Feb. 2019 Incredibly, things were unbelievably calm and England seemed relax and calm. SI.com, "It's Coming Home! Twitter Goes Berserk as England March Into First World Cup Semi-Final Since 1990," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of relax

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for relax

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

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Learn More about relax

Dictionary Entries near relax

relatrix

relatum

relaunch

relax

relaxant

relaxate

relaxation

Statistics for relax

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relax

The first known use of relax was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for relax

relax

verb

English Language Learners 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

relax

verb
re·​lax | \ ri-ˈlaks How to pronounce relax (audio) \
relaxed; relaxing

Kids Definition of relax

1 : to make or become loose or less tense Relax your muscles. She relaxed her grip on the reins.
2 : to make or become less severe or strict Mom relaxed the rules for the summer.
3 : to become calm and free from stress
4 : to seek rest or enjoyment You can relax at the beach.
re·​lax | \ ri-ˈlaks How to pronounce relax (audio) \

Medical Definition of relax

1 : to slacken or make less tense or rigid alternately contracting and relaxing their muscles
2 : to relieve from nervous tension
3 : to relieve from constipation medications to relax the bowels

intransitive verb

1 of a muscle or muscle fiber : to return to an inactive or resting state especially : to become inactive and lengthen
2 : to cast off social restraint, nervous tension, or anxiety couldn't relax in crowds

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More from Merriam-Webster on relax

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with relax

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for relax

Spanish Central: Translation of relax

Nglish: Translation of relax for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of relax for Arabic Speakers

Comments on relax

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