release

1 of 3

verb (1)

re·​lease ri-ˈlēs How to pronounce release (audio)
released; releasing

transitive verb

1
: to set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude
release hostages
release pent-up emotions
release the brakes
also : to let go : dismiss
released from her job
2
: to relieve from something that confines, burdens, or oppresses
was released from her promise
3
: to give up in favor of another : relinquish
release a claim to property
4
: to give permission for publication, performance, exhibition, or sale of
also : to make available to the public
the commission released its findings
release a new movie

intransitive verb

: to move from one's normal position (as in football or basketball) in order to assume another position or to perform a second assignment
releasable adjective

release

2 of 3

noun

1
: relief or deliverance from sorrow, suffering, or trouble
2
a
: discharge from obligation or responsibility
b(1)
: relinquishment of a right or claim
(2)
: an act by which a legal right is discharged
specifically : a conveyance of a right in lands or tenements to another having an estate in possession
3
a
: the act or an instance of liberating or freeing (as from restraint)
b
: the act or manner of concluding a musical tone or phrase
c
: the act or manner of ending a sound : the movement of one or more vocal organs in quitting the position for a speech sound
d
: the action or manner of throwing a ball
has a quick release
4
: an instrument effecting a legal release
5
: the state of being freed
6
: a device adapted to hold or release a mechanism as required
7
a
: the act of permitting performance or publication
also : performance, publication
became a bestseller on its release
b
: the matter released
especially : a statement prepared for the press

re-lease

3 of 3

verb (2)

re-leased; re-leasing; re-leases

transitive verb

: to lease again
Choose the Right Synonym for release

free, release, liberate, emancipate, manumit mean to set loose from restraint or constraint.

free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses.

freed the animals from their cages

release suggests a setting loose from confinement, restraint, or a state of pressure or tension, often without implication of permanent liberation.

released his anger on a punching bag

liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty.

liberated their country from the tyrant

emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination.

labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery

manumit implies emancipation from slavery.

the document manumitted the slaves

Examples of release in a Sentence

Verb (1) The hostages have been released. The judge released the prisoner. The lion was released from its cage. There is a lot of controversy over whether or not wolves should be released into the park. I released my son's hand, and he ran out onto the playground. The factory faced serious fines for releasing dangerous chemicals into the river. Heat is released into the atmosphere by cars. During exercise, the body releases chemicals in the brain that make you feel better. She started to cry, releasing all of her repressed emotion. Exercise is a good way to release stress. Noun the release of the hostages The prisoner is eligible for early release. There was a controversy over the release of wolves into the park. The prisoner was given an early release. the release of heat into the atmosphere Exercise triggers the release of chemicals in the brain that make you feel better. an accidental release of pollutants into the river They've filed a request for release from the contract. They're requesting a release from their contractual obligations. The release of the book is scheduled for next month.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Crowd bids farewell to Bubba With his rehab complete, Bubba was taken to the seashore in Cocoa Beach on Thursday, July 11, and released into the ocean, while a crowd of onlookers bid him farewell. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 13 July 2024 Lala Kent, who has also had a child, released a line of cruelty-free beauty products under the name Give Them Lala, and attended, with Vanderpump and Ariana Madix, the 2023 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, 13 July 2024
Noun
According to an earlier news release, Escarlet Teresa Rios-Gordin was last seen on Saturday at 2:30 a.m. near North Main Street in Hamburg wearing gray sweatpants and a white t-shirt with a blue and white tie dye undershirt. Parker Mancino, arkansasonline.com, 14 July 2024 Stock market futures rose following the release while Treasury yields tumbled. Mike Winters, CNBC, 14 July 2024
Verb
The families protested as some had been waiting for their unit to be re-leased since 2019, so Lifespace later agreed that they will be paid either when their unit is taken over by a new resident or by 2025 at the latest. Natalie Walters, Dallas News, 14 Mar. 2023 See all Example Sentences for release 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'release.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English relesen, from Anglo-French relesser, from Latin relaxare to relax

Noun

Middle English reles, from Anglo-French, from relesser

First Known Use

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1828, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of release was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near release

Cite this Entry

“Release.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/release. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

release

1 of 2 verb
re·​lease ri-ˈlēs How to pronounce release (audio)
released; releasing
1
: to set free (as from confinement)
release a prisoner
release a bird from a cage
2
: to relieve from something that holds or burdens
released from our promise
3
: to give up in favor of another : relinquish
release a claim to property
4
: to give permission for publication, performance, exhibition, or sale of (as a movie or news story)
releasable adjective

release

2 of 2 noun
1
: relief or rescue from sorrow, suffering, or trouble
2
a
: a discharge from an obligation (as a debt)
b
: a giving up of a right or claim
3
: the act or an instance of setting free or letting go
4
: a document that contains a release
5
: the state of being freed
6
: a device adapted to hold or release a mechanism as required
7
a
: the act of permitting performance or publication
b
: the matter released
especially : a statement prepared for the press

Legal Definition

release

1 of 2 transitive verb
re·​lease
released; releasing
1
a
: to relieve or free from obligation, liability, or responsibility
the debtor is released from all dischargeable debts
b
: to give up (a claim, title, or right) to the benefit of another person : surrender
2
: to set free from confinement
was released on personal recognizance

release

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: discharge from an obligation or responsibility that bars a cause of action
did not effect a release of the school for any negligence
b
: the giving up or renunciation of a right or claim that bars a cause of action
was a release of the remainder of the debt

Note: A release may in some situations require consideration in order to be valid. A release of one joint obligor sometimes is considered to release all the obligors.

2
: an act or instrument that effects a release
signed a release issued by the insurer

called also release of all claims

compare hold harmless
3
: the act or instance of freeing especially from custody

More from Merriam-Webster on release

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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