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

President Donald Trump has pushed automakers to support him in his bid to relax mileage standards. Ellen Knickmeyer, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Gov. Hogan, 21 other governors join Calif. in opposing Trump mileage standards," 9 July 2019 President Donald Trump has pushed automakers to support him in his bid to relax mileage standards. Washington Post, "23 US governors join Calif. in opposing Trump mileage freeze," 9 July 2019 That's because pregnancy hormone progesterone causes the smooth muscles in both the esophagus and bowel to relax. Felissa Allard, SELF, "These Are The Pregnancy Pains You Shouldn’t Ignore," 8 July 2019 For now, though, Looney appeared just ready to relax. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Kevon Looney talks new deal with Warriors, Kevin Durant’s departure & possibly shooting 3’s," 5 July 2019 Powell and Mattocks might be allowed to relax for the Dynamo match after only just being eliminated from the Gold Cup on Wednesday night. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati versus Houston Dynamo: Keys to the game and prediction," 4 July 2019 The Saudi government has made efforts to relax some of its restrictions. Leah Asmelash And Katherine Dillinger, CNN, "Nicki Minaj is headlining a music festival in conservative Saudi Arabia," 3 July 2019 This will require the financier to relax his lockjaw on the company, now that the firm will be held by a wider range of shareholders—while maintaining the discipline that has prevented Blackstone from blowing its money at the top of the cycle. The Economist, "Stephen Schwarzman says that Blackstone is not done growing," 29 June 2019 To be able to kind of relax the last few events of the season would be really nice. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Rocket Mortgage Classic: Big names make early exits at Detroit Golf Club," 28 June 2019

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

12 Jul 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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