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

Only over the past five years has the U.S. military relaxed its racist rules and finally allowed styles like cornrows, twists, afros, and dreadlocks. Jeneé Osterheldt, BostonGlobe.com, "Miss Teen USA is more than her hair, but those natural curls help teach girls to love themselves," 10 June 2019 So pack a basket and lawn chairs, get there early, find a good spot, chow down and relax to some tunes. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Who’s playing when at these free outdoor evening concerts in Greater Hartford," 10 June 2019 Instead, the omelet was usually reserved for Saturday mornings, when everybody finally had time to breathe and relax instead of run. Washington Post, "For my father, making his masala omelet is an act of precision and love," 6 June 2019 Seeming to anticipate the moods of me and my fellow guests, our Hosts kept a pace of occasional dialogue that left time for both listening and relaxing along the way. Jennifer Franklin, USA TODAY, "You won’t want to miss a moment of this unforgettable and luxurious Canadian train journey," 6 June 2019 Like many people, Courtney Fallon decided to celebrate the first long weekend of summer relaxing by the pool in Florida. Htv National Desk, Houston Chronicle, "Woman’s blistering 'margarita burn' a warning about the popular summer drink," 5 June 2019 Police departments in Michigan and Texas have relaxed their officers’ notoriously strict grooming standards to permit beards and goatees. Adrian Bonenberger, The New Republic, "The Sum of All Beards," 4 June 2019 Some players opt to spend their summer break relaxing by the swimming pool, but not Costa. SI.com, "Diego Costa: The Forward's Maddest Social Media Clips Which Give an Insight into His Batsh*t Life," 4 June 2019 Now, all that's left is to find your custom, relaxing sound. Allure, "The 8 Best Sound Machines For a Better Night’s Sleep," 31 May 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

14 Jun 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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