un·​load | \ ˌən-ˈlōd How to pronounce unload (audio) \
unloaded; unloading; unloads

Definition of unload

transitive verb

1a(1) : to take off : deliver
(2) : to take the cargo from unload the truck
b : to give outlet to : pour forth unloaded her bitter feelings
2 : to relieve of something burdensome, unwanted, or oppressive unloaded the pack animals unloaded himself to his friend
3 : to draw the charge from unloaded the gun
4 : to sell or dispose of especially in large quantities : dump
5 : to hit or propel with a great release of power unloaded his ninth homer

intransitive verb

1 : to perform the act of unloading
2 : to release or deliver something especially with power unloaded on the ball
3 : to give forth a usually sudden angry outburst the coach unloaded on his players

Other Words from unload

unloader noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for unload



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Examples of unload in a Sentence

It took four hours to unload the truck. Could you help me unload the car? After the ship docked, they unloaded its cargo. I have to unload the groceries. Most ships unload at another dock now. The train made several stops to unload passengers. Rumor has it that the manager wants to unload him. Maybe he'll be traded to another team. She unloaded a huge amount of stock when prices fell.
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Recent Examples on the Web When the ships finally unload, the containers are stacked as far as the eye can see, waiting several days for trucks and trains to carry them across the U.S. Ramy Inocencio, CBS News, 2 Nov. 2021 These features also provide the operator the ability to clear malfunctions, and safely unload the platform prior to recovery. Julia Musto, Fox News, 16 Oct. 2021 Labor shortages at air-cargo hubs like Chicago O’Hare International Airport during the fall have disrupted operations for the ground-handling companies that unload planes, and left goods piling up. Doug Cameron, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2021 Patry and the other scientists rush in and unload the collection tubes, running them over to a little hut on the deck. Matt Simon, Wired, 23 Dec. 2021 Armed with this insight, Levine and his team worked with REI to design a sleeping bag that could unload pressure to the brain on a nightly basis. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 Trucks back into loading docks where workers unload pallets of goods. Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2021 For months now and amid a pandemic, consumers have been hearing about factory disruptions, U.S. ports jammed with container ships that can’t unload quickly and a shortage of drivers to transport parts and goods to stores and warehouses. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, 21 Nov. 2021 Officials said the number of ships waiting to unload has been reduced since hitting a high of 30 vessels queuing up in the harbor earlier this year. Michael E. Kanell, ajc, 12 Nov. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

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The first known use of unload was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unload.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unload. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for unload



English Language Learners Definition of unload

: to remove something (such as cargo) from a truck, ship, etc.
: to allow (someone) to leave a train, ship, etc.
: to get rid of (something or someone) quickly


un·​load | \ ˌən-ˈlōd How to pronounce unload (audio) \
unloaded; unloading

Kids Definition of unload

1 : to take away or off : remove Workers unloaded cargo.
2 : to take a load from Help me unload the car.
3 : to get rid of or be freed from a load or burden The ship is unloading.

More from Merriam-Webster on unload

Nglish: Translation of unload for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unload for Arabic Speakers


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