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

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 Though official royal tours are often anything but relaxing, this laid-back jaunt between Nevis and St. Lucia puts pampering at a premium. Louise Hart, Town & Country, "4 International Itineraries for a Vacation Fit for a Royal," 7 Nov. 2019 Also on the rise: wrinkle-relaxing neurotoxin injections, fillers, and laser treatments. Monica Corcoran Harel, Marie Claire, "The Problem With Beauty & Wellness Slacking," 31 Oct. 2019 Take a break from midterms and relax, be yourself, and be surrounded by your Miami LGBTQ+ and ally community. Luann Gibbs, Cincinnati.com, "Last-chance Halloween events in and around Cincinnati in 2019," 24 Oct. 2019 The best part of any haircut experience – the shampoo station – is tucked away with lounge seats and relaxing washtubs. orlandosentinel.com, "2019 Orlando Sentinel Best Bets: Beauty & Wellness winners," 6 Oct. 2019 But after spending a relaxing Memorial Day in Seattle, the inundation of vacation photos on social media gave me a travel itch. Taylor Blatchford, chicagotribune.com, "Discovering the merits of solo travel through a one-woman exploration of Portland," 20 Aug. 2019 The relaxing hike to end that first week in the new house and job turned into panic when Sadie went missing, though, and hours spent searching on Saturday afternoon and Sunday turned up nothing. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "17-year-old dog Sadie, lost for days at Sleeping Giant State Park, rescued safely for new Quinnipiac dean," 2 Aug. 2019 There is something relaxing about looking around at the walls and seeing the artwork and photos of numerous celebrities and influential figures. Kaelen Jones, SI.com, "'It Don't Stop': Jalen Rose's Work Days Are a Whirlwind," 11 July 2019 For a relaxing introduction to the lake, hop aboard an Eco Wanaka cruise to the island of Mou Waho, which has its own lake. Carrie Miller, National Geographic, "Here’s where to find epic adventures in New Zealand," 8 July 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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Statistics for relax

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce relax (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for relax

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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