un·load | \ ˌən-ˈlōd \
unloaded; unloading; unloads

Definition of unload 

transitive verb

1a(1) : to take off : deliver

(2) : to take the cargo from unload the truck

b : to give outlet to : pour forth unloaded her bitter feelings

2 : to relieve of something burdensome, unwanted, or oppressive unloaded the pack animals unloaded himself to his friend

3 : to draw the charge from unloaded the gun

4 : to sell or dispose of especially in large quantities : dump

5 : to hit or propel with a great release of power unloaded his ninth homer

intransitive verb

1 : to perform the act of unloading

2 : to release or deliver something especially with power unloaded on the ball

3 : to give forth a usually sudden angry outburst the coach unloaded on his players

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Other words from unload

unloader noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for unload


disburden, discharge, disencumber, off-load, unburden, unlade, unpack


load, pack

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Examples of unload in a Sentence

It took four hours to unload the truck. Could you help me unload the car? After the ship docked, they unloaded its cargo. I have to unload the groceries. Most ships unload at another dock now. The train made several stops to unload passengers. Rumor has it that the manager wants to unload him. Maybe he'll be traded to another team. She unloaded a huge amount of stock when prices fell.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On some occasions come home to unload and go right back shopping. courant.com, "Jacqueline Crabb," 31 May 2018 Only 36 percent of gun owners in Washington state keep their firearms locked and unloaded, according to a study highlighted by the council, and at least 250 guns were stolen in Seattle last year, according to the police. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Gun owners face fines up to $10,000 for not locking up their guns under new Seattle law," 9 July 2018 This would be a solid move for OKC, strengthening the Paul George-Russell Westbrook connection and unloading some discord. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Best of the World Cup: when cultures mix," 6 July 2018 Annie Noonan of San Francisco, who's with Rey's group, helped unload and unpack supplies at the Catholic center on Sunday, sorting clothes by size. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Volunteers flock to help immigrant children: 'There is love out there'," 25 June 2018 While unloading his boat after returning home from fishing on June 6, Gregory Sanchez Jr. heard screaming and saw a dog running down his Merrillville street. Cain Buchmeier, Post-Tribune, "Merrillville man used hedge scissors to fend off pitbull after alleged attack: 'I went at him like Edward Scissorhands'," 21 June 2018 Jenner's recent Instagram photo shows the champagne vending machine being unloaded off a truck in the middle of her driveway. refinery29.com, "Chrissy Teigen Just Gave Kris Jenner The Best Gift A Champagne Lover Could Ask For," 5 June 2018 Twenty-six years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics noted that households without firearms were safest for children, but that risk could be reduced if guns were stored locked and unloaded. Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, The Christian Science Monitor, "How treating gun violence as public-health issue could help children," 19 Mar. 2018 The Nuggets unloaded nearly $21 million in salary, getting below the luxury tax line for 2018-19. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Atlanta Hawks land Jeremy Lin from Brooklyn Nets," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unload.' 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 unload

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

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Statistics for unload

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unload

The first known use of unload was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for unload



English Language Learners Definition of unload

: to remove something (such as cargo) from a truck, ship, etc.

: to allow (someone) to leave a train, ship, etc.

: to get rid of (something or someone) quickly


un·load | \ ˌən-ˈlōd \
unloaded; unloading

Kids Definition of unload

1 : to take away or off : remove Workers unloaded cargo.

2 : to take a load from Help me unload the car.

3 : to get rid of or be freed from a load or burden The ship is unloading.

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Comments on unload

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to make amends

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