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

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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

But most of the 77 Huletts that once dotted regional ports had vanished by the early 1990s, rendered obsolete by self-unloading freighters. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Giant Hulett ore unloader parts could rise again as part of Cleveland lakefront plan," 18 Aug. 2019 What would a man do on parental leave—watch his wife unload the dishwasher? Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "WeWork Has An All-Male Board—And It’s Not Alone: The Broadsheet," 15 Aug. 2019 Two double-decker trucks unloaded about 300 animals to help remove invasive non-native weeds such as bur clover, mustard, and thistle. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "Bicycling worries on city streets: Roadshow," 12 Aug. 2019 New York City is also testing a program that reserves some residential parking spaces for unloading trucks and taxi and ride-hail pick-ups and drop-offs. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "This Startup Wants to Tame the Chaos of City Street Parking," 3 Aug. 2019 Bam Adebayo: The Hassan Whiteside trade was more than a referendum on unloading the final, $27 million season on Whiteside's contract. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Winderman: Heat’s new hierarchy has intriguing twists | Commentary," 21 July 2019 The Lakers only achieved that much cap space by unloading the extra players and taking no salary back as well as by Davis waiving his $4 million trade kicker. Andrew Lopez, nola.com, "Lakers move 3 players as part of Davis trade; AD waives trade kicker: report," 27 June 2019 Christina Anstead knew that unloading her family home after splitting from husband Tarek El Moussa would be bittersweet. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Christina Anstead Says 'Heartbreaking' Goodbye to Home She Shared with Ex Tarek El Moussa," 6 June 2019 More meetings are planned with the state historic preservation office and the federal General Service Administration, which is responsible for unloading surplus federal property. Scott Mcfetridge, The Seattle Times, "Huge ghost town next door clouds Iowa city’s future," 30 Mar. 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.

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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

12 Oct 2019

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.
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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unload

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unload

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unload

Spanish Central: Translation of unload

Nglish: Translation of unload for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unload for Arabic Speakers

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