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



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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 An Iranian oil tanker pursued by the U.S. across the Mediterranean Sea slowed to a near-stop Sunday off the coast of Syria, where America’s top diplomat alleges it will be unloaded despite denials from Tehran. Washington Post, "Iranian oil tanker pursued by US off the coast of Syria," 3 Sep. 2019 The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, said he had been assured in writing by the Iranian government that the tanker wouldn't unload its cargo in Syria. Fox News, "Greece vows to refuse aid to Iranian oil tanker eye'd by US," 22 Aug. 2019 Civilian firearms, such as hunting rifles, are prohibited in carry-on bags but are allowed in checked bags if they are unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container. Pete Williams, NBC News, "TSA screeners find missile launcher in checked luggage at airport," 29 July 2019 Colaiacovo’s first season was derailed by a shoulder injury that limited him to six games, and he was unloaded via compliance buyout in 2013. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "How Detroit Red Wings have fared in free agency over the years: Hits and misses," 22 July 2019 The solemn atmosphere remained as the 26 bodies were unloaded from the ship before anyone else was allowed to disembark. Abigail Haworth, Marie Claire, "The Lost Daughters of Salerno," 1 July 2019 Travelers can take guns in checked bags as long as they are unloaded, kept in hard-shell carrying cases and declared to the airline. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "TSA screeners find two loaded guns in carry-on bags within two hours at Cleveland Hopkins Airport," 28 June 2019 Before a gun of any kind was placed in my or my brother’s hand we were instructed to do the following when picking up a gun: Make sure the gun is unloaded. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Proper gun instruction means safety for kids and from intruders," 12 June 2019 After the tanks and infantry soldiers were unloaded, Sorenson hit the beach to ferry the wounded back to his ship. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "On 75th anniversary of invasion, D-Day veterans recall 'all hell was breaking loose'," 6 June 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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Time Traveler for unload

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unload

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Unload.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unloading. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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.

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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

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