release

verb (1)
re·​lease | \ ri-ˈlēs How to pronounce release (audio) \
released; releasing

Definition of release

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

release

noun

Definition of release (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : relief or deliverance from sorrow, suffering, or trouble
2a : 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
3a : 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
7a : the act of permitting performance or publication also : performance, publication became a best seller on its release
b : the matter released especially : a statement prepared for the press

re-lease

verb (2)
\ (ˌ)rē-ˈlēs How to pronounce re-lease (audio) \
re-leased; re-leasing; re-leases

Definition of re-lease (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to lease again

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from release

Verb (1)

releasable \ ri-​ˈlē-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce releasable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for release

Synonyms: Verb (1)

loose, loosen, uncork, unleash, unlock, unloose, unloosen

Synonyms: Noun

delivery, discharge, quietus, quittance

Antonyms: Verb (1)

bridle, check, constrain, contain, control, curb, govern, hold, inhibit, regulate, rein (in), restrain, smother, tame

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for release

Verb (1)

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sanctuary changes stopped In a unanimous vote, Santa Clara County supervisors refused to change a sanctuary policy that critics said allowed the county to release a violent felon accused of the murder of a San Jose woman. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: San Francisco will close its juvenile hall," 5 June 2019 Amazon declined to release some specifics on the device, citing trade secrets. Alan Levin, Fortune, "Amazon Reveals Its Latest Delivery Drone Design," 5 June 2019 Las Vegas police have refused to release their report because the investigation is open. Ken Ritter, chicagotribune.com, "Lawyer says the Cristiano Ronaldo rape lawsuit has been moved from Nevada to U.S. federal court," 5 June 2019 Homicide investigators are expected to release more information about the case Wednesday. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Police investigating death of man in Bond Hill," 5 June 2019 Three deputies fired their weapons, according to Severson, who declined to release their names. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A woman live streamed Tuesday's I-94 standoff from inside the stolen minivan," 5 June 2019 Missouri is preparing to release application forms on Tuesday for patients hoping to use medical marijuana under the state’s new law enacted by voters in November. Andy Marso, kansascity, "Most doctors won’t OK Missouri medical marijuana requests. But these KC clinics will," 4 June 2019 The page asks for donations to support Gable, who is expected to be released to federal supervision and live with his wife, Rainy Storm, at her home in Kansas. oregonlive.com, "Brothers of slain Oregon prisons chief start fundraiser for Frank Gable as he prepares for release from prison," 4 June 2019 Hopefully second time’s the charm though, as Owlcat’s gearing up to release an Enhanced Edition in June, free for anyone who already owns the original. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Iron Maiden sues 3D Realms, Larian teases Baldur's Gate III," 31 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to a team release, that makes the Raiders the first NFL team to play games in three different countries in one season. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders to play preseason game against Packers in Winnipeg," 5 June 2019 Perry rejected a motion from the Los Angeles Times, which moved for the transcripts' immediate release, saying the law here favors the public's right to know. CBS News, "Nipsey Hussle documents will remain sealed, for now," 5 June 2019 City officials objected to the release of the texts and spent more than $100,000 fighting it in court. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "New texts: Cranley and City Council talked about using private money to buy out Harry Black," 5 June 2019 Three were fired prior to the release of the video, and the fourth terminated Wednesday. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "'Disturbing' video of calves being abused prompts Casey's Foods, Jewel to remove Fairlife dairy items," 5 June 2019 Fairstein, who has always stood by the initial verdicts, has also stepped down from multiple boards following the release of the series. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Former Prosecutor Linda Fairstein Says 'When They See Us' Is ‘A Basket of Lies’," 5 June 2019 Assistant Federal Public Defender Nell Brown is still working with the state Attorney General’s Office to reach acceptable conditions for Gable’s release, with court approval. oregonlive.com, "Brothers of slain Oregon prisons chief start fundraiser for Frank Gable as he prepares for release from prison," 4 June 2019 The county initially denied the video’s release, and cleveland.com filed a complaint with the Ohio Court of Claims on grounds that videos of various instances of suspected wrongdoing at the jail are in the public’s interest. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County releases video of jail overdose death that led to warden and officer’s indictment," 3 June 2019 It's actually been growing since the release of the 5th edition in 2014, with new game rules. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Dungeons & Dragons is more popular than ever in Houston and beyond," 3 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'release.' 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 release

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

History and Etymology for release

Verb (1)

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

Noun

Middle English reles, from Anglo-French, from relesser

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about release

Statistics for release

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for release

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for release

release

verb

English Language Learners Definition of release

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to allow (a person or animal) to leave a jail, cage, prison, etc. : to set (someone or something) free
: to stop holding (someone or something)
: to allow (a substance) to enter the air, water, soil, etc.

release

noun

English Language Learners Definition of release (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of allowing a person or animal to leave a jail, cage, prison, etc.
: the act of allowing a substance to enter the air, water, soil, etc.
: the act of freeing someone from a duty, responsibility, etc.

release

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

Kids Definition of release

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to set free or let go of The fish was caught and released. He released his hold on the rope.
2 : to allow to escape The factory released chemicals into the river.
3 : to relieve from a duty, responsibility, or burden She released him from his promise.
4 : to give up or hand over to someone else I released my claim.
5 : to permit to be published, sold, or shown The movie will be released next month.

release

noun

Kids Definition of release (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of setting free or letting go release of a prisoner
2 : the act of allowing something to escape the release of smoke
3 : a discharge from an obligation or responsibility
4 : relief or rescue from sorrow, suffering, or trouble release from pain
5 : a device for holding or releasing a mechanism
6 : the act of making something available to the public
7 : something (as a new product or song) that is made available to the public

release

transitive verb
re·​lease
released; releasing

Legal Definition of release

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

noun

Legal Definition of release (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on release

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for release

Spanish Central: Translation of release

Nglish: Translation of release for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of release for Arabic Speakers

Comments on release

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

WORD OF THE DAY

standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
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!