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

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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

Afforded too much time 25 yards out, Angel Di Maria unleashed a stunning strike that gave Hugo Lloris no chance, bringing La Albiceleste level minutes before half time. SI.com, "France 4-3 Argentina: Kylian Mbappé Stars as Les Bleus Overcome La Albiceleste in Last 16 Thriller," 30 June 2018 The 2010 World Cup champions were almost caught against the run of the play when Karim Ansarifard unleashed a powerful strike that ended up in the side netting following a long thrown-in. BostonGlobe.com, "Ball bounces Spain’s way in win over Iran," 20 June 2018 Is violence unleashed if a society is flooded with refugees from a foreign religious culture? Wesley Wildman, Smithsonian, "How Computer Scientists Model the Role of Religion in Society," 11 June 2018 Mathas fielded the ball and unleashed a one-hop strike to junior catcher Olivia Peterson. Michael Osipoff, Post-Tribune, "Late show: Cheyenne Mathas delivers with arm and bat as Lake Central softball advances to state," 3 June 2018 Guerrero The national demonstrations are in response to the controversy unleashed after The New York Times revealed that more than 700 children have been separated from their parents at the border since October 2017, 100 of them under the age of 4. Brenda Medina, miamiherald, "In Miami, protesters seek end to separation of immigrant parents, kids," 1 June 2018 Videos made public Wednesday are expected to show what two officers found entering a 32nd-floor hotel room where Stephen Paddock unleashed gunfire on a concert last October. Fox News, "The Latest: Police release Las Vegas shooting officer video," 2 May 2018 Other video footage shows officers checking rooms in the Mandalay Bay before breaching a door and entering the 32nd-floor hotel suite where Stephen Paddock unleashed gunfire on a country music festival last October. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Bodycam video shows police breaching hotel suite of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock," 2 May 2018 The walkout, which is likely the largest in recent American history, unleashed years of frustration over Arizona’s cuts in education funding and lagging teacher salaries. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Arizona teachers, supporters flood Capitol to demand more education funding," 26 Apr. 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

16 Sep 2018

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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 \
unleashed; unleashing

Kids Definition of unleash

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

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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 deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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