un·​leash | \ ˌən-ˈlēsh How to pronounce unleash (audio) \
unleashed; unleashing; unleashes

Definition of unleash

transitive verb

1 : to free from or as if from a leash : let loose unleash the dogs unleashing his anger
2 : to throw, shoot, or set in motion forcefully unleashed a superb shot … to earn his side a pointThe New York Times

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Examples of unleash in a Sentence

The storm unleashed its fury. The editorial unleashed a torrent of angry responses.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Uruguayan unleashed a bullet that Frei somehow got to in time. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Sounders survive last-minute scare to extend unbeaten mark to four games," 31 Mar. 2019 Many of whom are still around, serving in the Senate, unleashed this unprecedented historically unprecedented attack on a nominee, and they weren't done. Fox News, "Levin: Democrats and the judicial confirmation process," 24 Sep. 2018 North Springs unleashed a 15-hit attack led by Max Jarboe (3 for 3, 2 runs, walk), Rodney Chung (4 for 4, 2 runs), Lassen (4 for 4, 2 runs) and Laurel (3 for 4, double, home run, 2 runs, walk). Gary Curreri, Sun-Sentinel.com, "North Springs' youngest all-stars a big hit in sectional tournament," 9 July 2018 Sixth Sense helmer and iconic twist-maker Shyamalan unleashed perhaps his biggest surprise ending yet on fans with his 2016 horror film Split. refinery29.com, "We Have Much To Fear In M. Night Shyamalan's New Movie," 29 June 2018 The ruling on greenhouse gases unleashed a number of Obama-era policies, including the Clean Power Plan to limit carbon pollution at energy plants, emissions standards for cars and trucks, and methane rules on the oil and gas industry. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Progress on environment could slow on Supreme Court without Kennedy," 29 June 2018 Egypt captain Ahmed Fathi unleashed a decent strike from range which tested Muslera before Suarez should have given Uruguay the lead at the other end. SI.com, "Egypt 0-1 Uruguay: La Celeste Start With a Win as Gimenez Header Breaks Pharaohs' Hearts," 15 June 2018 With its electronic appendages unleashing an animatronic whine that falls somewhere between an electronic knife and a Xerox machine, Atlas even stops to hop over a log before casually going on his bipedal way. Peter Holley, chicagotribune.com, "Video of jogging humanoid robot scares internet," 14 May 2018 All of those images are the haunting results of the Kilauea unleashing its fury. Carter Evans, CBS News, "Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano leaves path of destruction," 7 May 2018

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

circa 1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unleash

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for unleash

The first known use of unleash was circa 1671

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More Definitions for unleash



English Language Learners Definition of unleash

: to allow or cause (something very powerful) to happen suddenly
: to remove a leash from (an animal) so that it can freely run, attack someone, etc.


un·​leash | \ ˌən-ˈlēsh How to pronounce unleash (audio) \
unleashed; unleashing

Kids Definition of unleash

: to free from or as if from a leash A storm unleashed its fury.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unleash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unleash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unleash

Spanish Central: Translation of unleash

Nglish: Translation of unleash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unleash for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unleash

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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