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

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 Friends can open doors that unleash your creativity and thoughtfulness. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 4, 2020: Cancer, trust your instincts; Scorpio, enjoy being spontaneous," 4 Nov. 2020 But some economists argue Trump’s free-enterprise approach will more effectively unleash business owners’ animal spirits. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Trump or Biden: Who would boost growth, restore jobs faster? Here’s an Election Day guide on the economy," 3 Nov. 2020 Werner is a Special Olympics gymnast with Down syndrome who can unleash quite the tumbling sequence. Emily Shiffer, SELF, "11 Fitness Instagram Accounts for When Your Feed Needs a Palate Cleanser," 30 Oct. 2020 Safety Quentin Lake said Norwood has simplified the defense, allowing players to unleash a faster and more physical attack. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Entitled to help UCLA’s defense, Brian Norwood wants to fix what’s wrong," 27 Oct. 2020 Here are some deep discounts on devices that will unleash your inner grease monkey. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "Amazing Deals on Outdoor Gear During Amazon’s Prime Day," 14 Oct. 2020 Anyone who has been to a kids’ game and witnessed seemingly normal parents suddenly unleash a screech from the depth of Hades at a ref, a coach or their poor kid can attest to that. Washington Post, "Thought the world of youth sports was tough before? It’s worse during a pandemic.," 14 Sep. 2020 McDormand unleash her array of talents in a role that feels real and universal. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Save a seat for Frances McDormand: 'Nomadland' is Oscar-ready," 12 Sep. 2020 But Biden would unleash a Johnstown Flood of federal outlays and drown today’s taxpayers and future generations in debt. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "A Pro-Trump Appeal to Never Trumpers," 3 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler for unleash

Time Traveler

The first known use of unleash was circa 1671

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unleash

Last Updated

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unleash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unleash. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unleash


How to pronounce unleash (audio)

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.

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!