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 Renie goes one on two, flares out to her right and unleashes a low blast from the hash mark at the 10-yard line into the left corner of the net not even eight minutes into the match. Mark D. Motz, Cincinnati.com, "CCD's Renie scores hat trick in 1st half to beat Columbus Academy in state semifinals," 6 Nov. 2019 Previously the resident was witnessed on the school property with his dog unleashed. John Benson, cleveland, "Angry resident not happy he can’t let unleashed dog roam high school property: Strongsville Police Blotter," 6 Nov. 2019 Francis then dribbled to the middle of the field and unleashed a shot, from about 12 yards away, that sailed over the keeper’s head with 5:17 remaining in the match. BostonGlobe.com, "The Wellesley girls’ soccer team closed out the regular season with four straight losses, shut out in matchups against Dover-Sherborn, Braintree, Newton North, and Natick.," 6 Nov. 2019 Having been afforded space 25 yards out, the winger took a touch, took aim and unleashed an unstoppable strike into top righthand corner of Hugo Lloris' goal. SI.com, "France 4-3 Argentina: The Day France Emerged as World Champions-Elect," 4 Nov. 2019 Kessel unleashed a shot that bounced off the pad of Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz, but Dvorak was able to clean up the rebound. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Coyotes heating up after blanking Colorado Avalanche," 2 Nov. 2019 He and the students get together to allow the dogs to run around unleashed – under the students’ supervision – and to learn from one another. Michele Chabin, sun-sentinel.com, "Israeli students train guide dogs for the blind," 30 Oct. 2019 Cholowski strode in and unleashed a shot that made it 2-0 at 9:19 of the second period. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' losing streak hits 5 with loss vs. Canucks at LCA, 5-2," 23 Oct. 2019 Another small protein, DWORF, has the opposite effect, unleashing SERCA and enabling the muscle to contract repeatedly. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "New universe of miniproteins is upending cell biology and genetics," 17 Oct. 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

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for unleash

The first known use of unleash was circa 1671

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unleash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unleash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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