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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Apple users with home keys in their Apple Wallet can simply tap the Encode Plus with their iPhone or Apple Watch to lock or unlock the door. Dan Diclerico, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 As noted above, iOS 15.4 allows users to unlock their iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 17 Mar. 2022 Also included in iOS 15.4 is an update to Face ID that allows users to unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask. Mark Knapp, PCMAG, 15 Mar. 2022 The plan is to continue moving payment authorization decisions that previously would have been handled by a centralized cloud data center to the payment device, such as allowing a smartphone to unlock a subway turnstile. Suman Bhattacharyya, WSJ, 4 Jan. 2022 Bolt Drive allows its users to unlock cars using the app and rent the vehicle by the minute. Iain Martin, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 Firefighters were able to get the man to unlock the door after several minutes. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, 4 Dec. 2021 Another system would allow police to unlock cell phones and extract data quickly for $24,200. Megan Jones, chicagotribune.com, 23 Nov. 2021 The platform will allow artisans and filmmakers to unlock a whole new realm of educational possibilities for creatives. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 28 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of unlock

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

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

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unlock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlock. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for unlock


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on unlock

Nglish: Translation of unlock for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unlock for Arabic Speakers


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