un·​leash | \ˌən-ˈlēsh \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of unleash in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Check out the tweet from Grande below, including some fans who broke free and unleashed their excitement about the picture. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Ariana Grande Posts Cryptic Thank You Note to Madonna & Fans Have Theories," 11 July 2018 In other words, the deal in Berlin may not pacify the CSU and risks unleashing precisely the domino effect of unilateral actions that Mrs Merkel most feared. The Economist, "Angela Merkel’s flawed deal on migrants," 5 July 2018 Japan doubled their lead on 52 minutes when Inui unleashed a thunderbolt shot off his right boot which flew past the despairing Courtois. Ryland James, chicagotribune.com, "Chadli fires Belgium into World Cup's last eight," 2 July 2018 And remember, post-Texas is when Newgarden began unleashing his full fury last year. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Scott Dixon scorching hot as IndyCar heads to Road America," 21 June 2018 As the rest of the men snickered behind their pillows and drinks, this male model was having none of it, unleashing on Ravtiz a speech that will go down in Bachelorette history. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Jordan Kimball's Incredibly Stirring Modeling Speech On The Bachelorette, Annotated," 12 June 2018 Furious at spiraling corruption and violence, Mexican voters unleashed a political earthquake Sunday by electing a leftist firebrand as president and giving him a broad mandate to overthrow the political establishment and govern for the poor. The Christian Science Monitor, "Mexico elects leftist López Obrador as president," 2 July 2018 That would be The Duck Inn chef and owner Kevin Hickey who has just unleashed the full menu to his Duck Inn Dogs pop-up at Revival Food Hall in the Loop. Louisa Chu, chicagotribune.com, "Duck Inn Dogs releases details of new Revival Food Hall pop-up menu," 21 June 2018 Cash added that coincidentally the Astros will pitched two starters in Cole and Justin Verlander who unleash the same rarified velocity. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Alex Bregman’s walk-off double gives Astros 12th straight win," 19 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of unleash

circa 1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unleash

Dictionary Entries near unleash








Statistics for unleash

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unleash

The first known use of unleash was circa 1671

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
unleashed; unleashing

Kids Definition of unleash

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!