un·​seal | \ˌən-ˈsēl \
unsealed; unsealing; unseals

Definition of unseal 

transitive verb

: to break or remove the seal of : open

Examples of unseal in a Sentence

The court unsealed the documents in the Douglas trial today.

Recent Examples on the Web

The scene is just one of the many described in a search warrant and affidavit that was unsealed Friday by a California judge in response to a motion filed by the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Tj Ortenzi, Washington Post, "Hunt for Golden State Killer led detectives to Hobby Lobby for DNA sample," 2 June 2018 The documents were released in response to a motion by The Sacramento Bee and other news organizations asking that the warrants be unsealed by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet. Sam Stanton And Darrell Smith, sacbee, "How detectives collected DNA samples from the East Area Rapist suspect," 1 June 2018 The 41-count indictment was returned by a grand jury in Hartford on May 1 and was unsealed by a judge on Monday, federal officials said. Nicholas Rondinone, courant.com, "Sweeping Drug Indictment Hits Alleged Latin King Members, Associates," 8 May 2018 Zyburski is accused in U.S. District Court of using a communication facility to facilitate drug trafficking crimes between November and January, according to a complaint unsealed last month. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Macomb attorney accused in drug case to stop campaigning for judgeship," 3 July 2018 It was unsealed Friday after Nhekairo was arrested. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "Federal prosecutors charge Anne Arundel County woman with harboring undocumented immigrant," 29 June 2018 Those warrants were later unsealed by a different judge after a coalition of six media outlets, including WBTV, filed a court action to obtain access to them. Nick Ochsner, Wbtv, charlotteobserver, "Former Catawba Co Sheriff captain indicted," 28 June 2018 In 2013, a one-page criminal complaint unsealed in federal court accused former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of espionage and theft of government property in the NSA surveillance case. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 20 June 2018 The new charges were unsealed last week against Paul Manafort and Kilimnik, who worked in the Ukraine offices of Manafort's firm, Davis Manafort Partners International (DMI). CBS News, "Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort heading to jail, pending trial," 15 June 2018

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

12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unseal

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for unseal

The first known use of unseal was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for unseal



English Language Learners Definition of unseal

: to open (something) by breaking or removing a seal


un·​seal | \ˌən-ˈsēl \
unsealed; unsealing

Kids Definition of unseal

: to break or remove the seal of : open

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Comments on unseal

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


an inexhaustible supply or amount

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