relax

verb
re·​lax | \ ri-ˈlaks \
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

Getty ImagesSteven Pond For most families that celebrate, the day after Christmas (called Boxing Day in England) is a time to relax. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Ultimate Guide to the Royal Family," 26 Dec. 2018 China announced a plan to relax those partnership rules this year, which quickly resulted in moves like Tesla’s announcement of a Gigafactory in China, or BMW buying out a supermajority of its Chinese partner. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla’s competition for the Model Y is growing quickly in China," 21 Dec. 2018 Ski bunnies can pay $159 for a one-day Aspen Card, which grants access to 96 trails in the area—but don't forget to relax between runs. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "RIMOWA's New Pop-Up Is One More Reason to Visit Aspen This Winter," 20 Dec. 2018 Start your day with therapeutic sound healing therapy, then treat yourself to a complimentary 60-minute Swedish massage to relax your muscles. Micaela English, Town & Country, "8 Wellness Retreats To Reset Your Body And Mind," 17 Dec. 2018 According to the New York Times, the EPA wants to relax the limit to 1,900 pounds of CO2 per MWh. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The EPA plans to lift greenhouse gas limits on coal power plants," 6 Dec. 2018 Try to relax while waiting for medics or an ambulance to arrive. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "How to Avoid and Treat Rattlesnake Bites," 9 Nov. 2018 On the flip side, the plan would also take the power to relax carbon emissions standards out of the hands of an EPA with more cynical intent. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Why would Exxon donate $1 million to a carbon tax initiative?," 9 Oct. 2018 Minha Kim, a 34-year-old customer service manager from southern California, was planning to drive to Las Vegas with her husband on Saturday to relax for a couple days ahead of their Havasupai hike on Monday, July 16. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Hikers headed to flood-closed Havasupai Falls scramble to make other plans," 13 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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Dictionary Entries near relax

relatrix

relatum

relaunch

relax

relaxant

relaxate

relaxation

Statistics for relax

Last Updated

11 Jan 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 \
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 \

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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