un·​wind | \ ˌən-ˈwīnd How to pronounce unwind (audio) \
unwound\ ˌən-​ˈwau̇nd How to pronounce unwound (audio) \; unwinding

Definition of unwind

transitive verb

1a : to cause to uncoil : wind off : unroll
b : to free from or as if from a binding or wrapping
c : to release from tension : relax
2 archaic : to trace to the end unwinding the labryinth and bringing the hero out— Laurence Sterne
3 : to undo (a financial arrangement or position) through the necessary legal or financial steps unwound most of its natural gas hedgesThe New York Times

intransitive verb

1 : to become uncoiled or disentangled : unfold
2 : to become released from tension take a bath to unwind

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Synonyms & Antonyms for unwind



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Examples of unwind in a Sentence

She unwound some thread from the spool. The fishing line unwound quickly. I wanted to unwind after a hard day.
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Recent Examples on the Web Spain reported 164 deaths from Covid-19, its lowest daily death toll in seven weeks, a day after the government took a major step toward unwinding its lockdown by allowing adults to exercise outdoors. WSJ, "Coronavirus Updates: Insurers Flex Balance Sheets to Help Hospitals, Doctors," 4 May 2020 This includes dreams of unwinding at an outdoor bar or cooking for the family at a pizza oven. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "This Year's Outdoor Living Trends Bring the Comforts of Indoors to Your Backyard," 30 Apr. 2020 Her favorite beauty habit for unwinding involves a bath and lots of moisturizer (more on her all-time favorite moisturizer later). Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Singer JoJo Face Masks and Spills Her Skincare Secrets," 27 Apr. 2020 Some politicians, including Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, have suggested breaking up Facebook by unwinding acquisitions like Instagram. Wired, "California Reveals It’s Been Investigating Facebook," 6 Nov. 2019 The calming, refreshing scent is also helpful for unwinding after a long and stressful day. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Eucalyptus 'Bath Bouquets' Are the Easiest Way to Make Your Shower Smell Amazing," 12 May 2017 Check in to your accommodations and take the afternoon to unwind, explore Urubamba, and acclimatize. Jordan Harvey, Travel + Leisure, "Jordan Harvey's 9-Day Peru Adventure Itinerary," 23 Apr. 2020 The longer relief is delayed, the more things will unwind and disconnect, and the more irreparable the damage will be, turning what could be a three-month shock into a potentially years-long depression. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Slow money is killing the American economy – fast," 8 Apr. 2020 Later, head to DECK at the Queen Kapiolani for a poolside nightcap of a Napa red, or order room service with a bottle of Cava and just totally unwind in your elegant room at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel for the evening. Sunset Magazine, "Seek out These Hidden Gems for a Secluded Hawaii Getaway," 21 Mar. 2020

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

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

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Time Traveler for unwind

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unwind

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unwind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwind. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for unwind


How to pronounce unwind (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unwind

: to move the end of something (such as a piece of string) that is wound in a roll, coil, etc., so that it becomes straight
: to relax and stop thinking about work, problems, etc.


un·​wind | \ ˌən-ˈwīnd How to pronounce unwind (audio) \
unwound\ -​ˈwau̇nd \; unwinding

Kids Definition of unwind

1 : to uncoil a strand of I unwound yarn from a ball. The fishing line unwound from the reel.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unwind

Spanish Central: Translation of unwind

Nglish: Translation of unwind for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unwind for Arabic Speakers

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