un·lock | \ˌən-ˈläk \
unlocked; unlocking; unlocks

Definition of unlock 

transitive verb

1 : to unfasten the lock of

2 : open, undo

3 : to free from restraints or restrictions the shock unlocked a flood of tears

4 : to furnish a key to : disclose

intransitive verb

: to become unfastened or freed from restraints

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Examples of unlock in a Sentence

Could you unlock the door for me? geneticists unlocking the secrets of DNA The material's potential was unlocked only through extensive testing. How can I unlock my computer if I've forgotten the password? This class will unlock your creativity.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Cars can be unlocked with started with the smartphone app using technology called Smart Key Box, and they must be dropped off where they were picked up. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Toyota Launches a Car-Sharing Subscription Service for Hawaii," 11 July 2018 When all else fails, the browsers can almost always be unlocked by using the Windows Task Manager (control-alt-delete) or the macOS Force Quit feature (Apple menu). Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Tech-support scammers revive bug that sends Chrome users into a panic," 4 July 2018 The car was parked in the driveway, unlocked, with the keys and a credit card inside. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "18-year-old charged with using credit card from vehicle stolen in Fox Point," 3 July 2018 There’s a secret door that can be unlocked only via an eye scan; an oversized eyeball drawn on a paper plate does the job. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp Has Stakes as Small as Its Superheroes But It’s Hard to Dislike," 3 July 2018 Per the report, 18-year-old high school student Joseph Horton was caught on home surveillance camera footage breaking into Bortles’ Ford F-150, which had been left unlocked with the keys inside. The Web Staff, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Jacksonville teen tried to steal former UCF QB Blake Bortles' truck: report," 10 May 2018 Fans with mobile devices will be required to stow them in locked pouches at venue entrances — and they can be unlocked only with a visit to the concourse. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "7 things to know about Jack White at Little Caesars Arena," 19 Apr. 2018 Frank Pollack was hired as the offensive line coach with the hope Ogbuehi’s potential can finally be unlocked, but the club will also be looking for tackles in the upcoming draft. Jim Owczarski, Cincinnati.com, "Can the Cincinnati Bengals find a left tackle in free agency?," 7 Mar. 2018 Vehicle thefts were at 40 last year, up from 30 the previous year, and all of them were attributed to residents leaving their vehicles unlocked with the keys inside. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Rape, robberies, vehicle thefts on the rise in unincorporated Porter County," 9 Feb. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for unlock

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unlock

The first known use of unlock was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for unlock



English Language Learners Definition of unlock

: to open the lock on (something)

: to find out about (something that was secret or unknown)

: to make (something) available for use


un·lock | \ˌən-ˈläk \
unlocked; unlocking

Kids Definition of unlock

1 : to unfasten the lock of

2 : to make known Scientists are unlocking the secrets of nature.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unlock

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unlock

Spanish Central: Translation of unlock

Nglish: Translation of unlock for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unlock for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unlock

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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