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

Protestors were lighting fires and throwing gasoline bombs, and the police unleashed tear gas and water cannons. David Meyer, Fortune, "Changing Oil Landscapes: CEO Daily," 16 Sep. 2019 The news on an accelerated timeline for the weapon’s readiness comes after a mysterious explosion in northern Russia last month that left at least five people dead and unleashed a radiation spike. Fox News, "Russian nuclear-powered missile with ‘unlimited’ range to be ready by 2025: report," 14 Sep. 2019 Livingston became a reliable backup to point guard Stephen Curry, giving the Warriors a savvy, 6-foot-7 veteran to run the offense, post up smaller opponents and unleash his old-school, midrange jump shot. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Former Warriors guard Shaun Livingston announces his retirement from NBA," 13 Sep. 2019 By probing the neural connections between the rodents’ brains and their skeletons, the team discovered how osteocalcin unleashes fight-or-flight mode. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, "Hormone secreted by bones may help us escape danger," 12 Sep. 2019 What the astronomers were seeing was an eruption of the black hole unleashing bright radiation. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The Milky Way's supermassive black hole is feasting," 12 Sep. 2019 The result of a Guggenheim Grant and two years spent on the road with his family, the 1959 book unleashed a vision of the US notable for its unsentimental and foreboding tone. Johnny Simon, Quartzy, "Robert Frank exposed an America that Americans weren’t ready to see," 11 Sep. 2019 Most of the blame belongs to a raucous Raiders crowd at the Coliseum celebrating their team’s 24-16 victory over the Broncos while unleashing their fury on Brown, who begged his way out of town. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Raiders fans roast Antonio Brown, then ‘the anti-AB’ keys win on MNF," 10 Sep. 2019 So, in 2016, the state GOP, unleashing its supermajority, infamously redrew the electoral maps. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Two Dans, Two Elections, and No Winners," 10 Sep. 2019

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

14 Oct 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

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