un·​lock | \ ˌən-ˈläk How to pronounce unlock (audio) \
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 Like, being able to unlock every door universally instead of having a different FOB for your school, your apartment, a hotel. Ashley Edwards Walker, Marie Claire, "Spotlighting 3 Power Women in the Home Market," 15 Jan. 2020 Members can use a smartphone app to see who is working at any given time, reserve a spot and even unlock the doors after business hours. Washington Post, "Happy hour vibe or library quiet? A guide to picking the right co-working space.," 14 Jan. 2020 Imagine being able to unlock the door from a phone, walk into the house and have the lights turn on automatically, get a full rundown of your schedule from a virtual assistant or enable a robot vacuum to clean the place from anywhere in the world? Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "Best Gifts For The Beginner Smart Home Enthusiast," 27 Nov. 2019 The car, however, was still locked and running with the canine explorer inside, so police attempted to use the spare key fob to unlock the door. Fox News, "Florida dog trapped in car drives in circles for an hour," 23 Nov. 2019 The car was still locked and running with the dog inside, so police tried to use the owner’s spare key fob to unlock the car door but the battery was dead. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Driving dog hits reverse in car and circles backward for an hour," 22 Nov. 2019 The officers and a police dog, Kenzi, surrounded the door to the closet and waited for the apartment building manager to unlock the door. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "WATCH: Lafayette police used K9 to attack unconscious man in his underwear, lawsuit says," 21 Nov. 2019 The app allows drivers to use their phones to remotely start and stop the engine, lock and unlock the doors, and track the vehicle's precise location. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Five months after returning rental car, man still has remote control," 28 Oct. 2019 The sun has barely risen when owner Sergio Calderon is unlocking the door to his restaurant. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio restaurant Panchos & Gringos offers down-home comfort," 7 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for unlock

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unlock

Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unlock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlock. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for unlock


How to pronounce unlock (audio)

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 How to pronounce unlock (audio) \
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

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