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)

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Factor in its reported mood-enhancing and muscle-relaxing properties and it’s no wonder the practice has been anecdotally linked to the ultimate one-two punch for 2019: a better complexion and quiet mind. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "What’s the Best Way to Cleanse? A Guide to Detoxing in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 When France relaxed restrictions on doctors prescribing buprenorphine in response to its own opioid crisis in 1995, the number of people in treatment rose and overdose deaths fell by 79 percent over the following four years. German Lopez, Vox, "Drug overdose deaths were so bad in 2017, they reduced overall life expectancy," 29 Nov. 2018 The five-lane warm water therapeutic pool comes with a therapeutic whirlpool and showers to provide a relaxing wellness experience. Candace Dantes, ajc, "Take a dunk: The best OTP swimming pools near Atlanta," 8 July 2018 Mark Hough of Altadena, Calif. filmed a precocious bear who got into the swing of the summer season by climbing over his fence for a relaxing dip in his hot tub. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "The Bear Drinking a Margarita in a Hot Tub Is Your Summer 2018 Hero," 3 July 2018 Tai chi puts minimal stress on joints and muscles and is a relaxing way to improve flexibility and balance. Jan Burns, Houston Chronicle, "Tai chi offers many health benefits," 15 June 2018 For Jennifer and Jeremy Sutcliffe, it was supposed to be a relaxing day at home. Allyson Chiu, Anchorage Daily News, "A Texas man decapitated a rattlesnake. The head bit him anyway and he nearly died.," 7 June 2018 Arkansas: Umbra Aquala Bathtub Caddy Who doesn't love a relaxing soak in the tub? Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "WATCH: The Most Popular Wedding Registry Picks in Every Southern State," 5 June 2018 Take a relaxing paddleboat ride on the large pond on its east end. Dana Oland, idahostatesman, "Boise parks guide: What's new, what's coming, where to picnic | Idaho Statesman," 21 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about relax

Dictionary Entries near relax

relatrix

relatum

relaunch

relax

relaxant

relaxate

relaxation

Statistics for relax

Last Updated

8 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relax

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up relax? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!