un·​load ˌən-ˈlōd How to pronounce unload (audio)
unloaded; unloading; unloads

transitive verb

: to take off : deliver
: to take the cargo from
unload the truck
: to give outlet to : pour forth
unloaded her bitter feelings
: to relieve of something burdensome, unwanted, or oppressive
unloaded the pack animals
unloaded himself to his friend
: to draw the charge from
unloaded the gun
: to sell or dispose of especially in large quantities : dump
: to hit or propel with a great release of power
unloaded his ninth homer

intransitive verb

: to perform the act of unloading
: to release or deliver something especially with power
unloaded on the ball
: to give forth a usually sudden angry outburst
the coach unloaded on his players
unloader noun

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Other actions currently affecting Tesla include a blockade among dockworkers who are refusing to load or unload the company’s cars cars at Swedish ports. Jonas Ekblom, Fortune, 28 Nov. 2023 Swedish cleaners are refusing to clean Tesla showrooms, electricians won’t fix the company’s charging points, and dockworkers are refusing to unload Tesla cargo at Swedish ports. Morgan Meaker, WIRED, 27 Nov. 2023 On a chilly Wednesday evening in October, the sounds filling Ambre Romero’s home were familiar: her grandchildren unloading the dishwasher, her husband, just off work, watching television. Emma Goldberg, New York Times, 27 Oct. 2023 Hand didn’t directly criticize Zegler, but unloaded pretty heavily on the new film (which has not yet been seen by anyone outside the studio, even in trailer form). James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Oct. 2023 As Stephen Paddock unloaded thousands of bullets on the people at the festival from a 32nd-floor suite at Mandalay Bay, Swanson weaved through the crowd applying tourniquets and carrying people to safety, according to the Daily Breeze. Los Angeles Times (tns), Arkansas Online, 6 Oct. 2023 Officials said his hunting partner was checking to see if his firearm was unloaded, but accidentally fired a round into the victim's leg. CBS News, 13 Nov. 2023 There are a lot of trailers out there that need to be unloaded. IEEE Spectrum, 7 Nov. 2023 The spacecraft was unloaded at Astrotech facilities where it will be integrated with the Vulcan booster for launch as early as December 24, 2023. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unload.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near unload

Cite this Entry

“Unload.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unload. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​load ˌən-ˈlōd How to pronounce unload (audio)
: to take away or off : remove
unload cargo from a hold
: to take a load from
unload a ship
also : to rid or set free : unburden
unload your mind of worries
: to get rid of or be freed of a load or burden
the ship is unloading now
: to sell in large quantities : dump
unload surplus goods

More from Merriam-Webster on unload

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