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

Instead of relaxing like many parents do when their kids leave the nest, when her 23- and 21-year-old sons left to join the Navy and Marines, respectively, the Texas native became a foster parent and started taking in children ages 5 and under. Amy Capetta, Good Housekeeping, "I Nearly Had My Leg Amputated Only to Find Out My Heart Was Working at 5%," 31 Jan. 2019 Combining all of the above with relaxing activities = total bliss. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "I Practiced Hygge and It's Kind of the Best Thing Ever," 25 Dec. 2018 The holidays are a time for relaxing and unplugging. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "What to Watch on Netflix During Thanksgiving," 20 Nov. 2018 From powerful to relaxing to sad, the unique perspectives gave those in attendance pause to stop and think. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Art enthusiasts celebrate, build camaraderie at ‘ArtFeel Live’ in The Woodlands," 29 June 2018 Five-acre Lake Concord Park, a popular place for relaxing among residents, is blossoming into an entertainment district, with city officials putting an emphasis on monthly events (second Fridays) and periodic car shows and jazz festivals. Michael Candelaria, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Casselberry Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 2018 Oregon: Umpqua Hot Springs The tiered pools that make up Umpqua Hot Springs are surrounded by vegetation that is so damned lush, the place is as relaxing to the eyes as the hot water is to your sore muscles. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "The Secret to Happiness? Hot Springs," 1 June 2018 Hot tubs are almost synonymous with parties and time travel, but more people are investing in them as a way to relax and unwind, manage muscle soreness, and enjoy some social time with friends and family. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Buy a Hot Tub That Your Whole Family Will Enjoy," 30 Jan. 2019 In people with the condition, throat and tongue muscles relax and block the airway during sleep, caused by obesity, aging or facial structure. Washington Post, "New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom," 12 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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Learn More about relax

Dictionary Entries near relax

relatrix

relatum

relaunch

relax

relaxant

relaxate

relaxation

Statistics for relax

Last Updated

22 Feb 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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