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 After all of that is done, my favorite part is finally unwinding with a fennel tea. Kyle Beechey, Bon Appétit, "Artist Nadia Gohar Calms Her “Studio Brain” with Fennel Tea and Soft PJs," 19 Nov. 2019 The unsettling sense that America is going wrong, even unwinding, is reflected in a new poll released two weeks ago by the Pew Research Center: seventy-five per cent of Americans now say that trust in the federal government is shrinking. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Why Do Americans Feel That There’s No One to Help Us?," 7 Aug. 2019 In recent decades, the Supreme Court has unwound some of the mandates within the landmark 1954 ruling. Howard Blume, latimes.com, "School busing and race tore L.A. apart in the 1970s. Now, Kamala Harris is reviving debate," 28 June 2019 Be it in my hometown or at another cousin’s house in Bristol, every weekend was a party or a reason to unwind with liquidity. Alicia Lutes, Longreads, "Breaking the Family Silence on Alcoholism," 19 Oct. 2019 Although the focus of the latest K-beauty products in the U.S. tends to be on clearing acne and unwinding with a soothing sheet mask, mature skin definitely doesn't go unnoticed in the world of Korean skin care. Allure, "23 Korean Skin-Care Products That Hydrate and Brighten Mature Complexions," 10 Oct. 2019 This translates to curating a personal collection of 60 serums, but also to making time to unwind with Pilates and walking to work. Georgia Louise Vassanelli, Glamour, "I’m a Celebrity Facialist, and I Spend $14,026 a Year on My Beauty Routine," 3 Oct. 2019 Other highlights: keeping up her routine of unwinding with long walks by strolling through Central Park and visiting New York’s museums, including her (fitting) favorite, the American Museum of Natural History. Ryan Pfluger, Teen Vogue, "Greta Thunberg Wants You — Yes, You — to Join the Climate Strike," 16 Sep. 2019 Listening to Schultz, the knot in my stomach started to unwind a little. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "When Your Spouse Is a Politician, What Happens to You?," 27 June 2019

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

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Unwind.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwound?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=u&file=unwind02. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on unwind

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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

Comments on unwind

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a period of high artistic development

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