un·​load | \ ˌən-ˈlōd How to pronounce unload (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unload

unloader noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for unload



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 There are bays for 93 tractor-trailers to load and unload at once. Scott Shane, New York Times, "Prime Mover: How Amazon Wove Itself Into the Life of an American City," 30 Nov. 2019 As Hendron and Unick smoked the marijuana, Hendron continued to load and unload the gun, but now was pointing it at Basile’s face, Unick said. David Owens, courant.com, "Jury convicts Wethersfield man of manslaughter in 2017 shooting death of 16-year-old, but acquits him of more serious murder charge," 8 Nov. 2019 Mobley takes his Hughes football players to load and unload boats at Paddlefest. Melanie Laughman, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati high school football coaches: 'It gets to your soul, the things you see'," 28 Aug. 2019 Stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "As 95,000 students get ready to start school in Denver, police remind drivers, students to follow safety tips," 18 Aug. 2019 Today, a trucker must take a 30-minute break after eight hours on duty, which can include waiting for a vehicle to be loaded or unloaded, pumping diesel, or handling paperwork. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Truckers Gain More Freedom, Thanks to Tech’s Watchful Eye," 15 Aug. 2019 Volunteers must wear heavy work gloves to load and unload the corn into the constantly rotating roaster, and protective eye wear or glasses are a good idea, too, as there is a lot of ash. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The New Berlin Lions Club corn roast at Wisconsin State Fair has a sweet story - especially for youth groups," 29 July 2019 But the coffins unloaded at Dover, known as transfer cases, are not adorned with flowers. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "In Bracing Terms, Trump Invokes War’s Human Toll to Defend His Policies," 19 Oct. 2019 The second amendment was obviously never about the right of private citizens to unload dozens of bullets at a time. Thembi Ford, Essence, "Mass Shootings In America: We Have To Do Something About Guns," 8 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of unload

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unload

Time Traveler for unload

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for unload

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Unload.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unload?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=u&file=unload01. Accessed 15 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unload


How to pronounce unload (audio)

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.
informal : to get rid of (something or someone) quickly


un·​load | \ ˌən-ˈlōd How to pronounce unload (audio) \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on unload

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unload

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unload

Spanish Central: Translation of unload

Nglish: Translation of unload for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unload for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unload

What made you want to look up unload? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


delight or enjoyment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
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!