- to make less tense, rigid, or firm; make lax: to relax the muscles.
- to diminish the force of.
- to slacken or abate, as effort, attention, etc.
- to make less strict or severe, as rules, discipline, etc.: to relax the requirements for a license.
- to release or bring relief from the effects of tension, anxiety, etc.: A short swim always relaxes me.
- to become less tense, rigid, or firm.
- to become less strict or severe; grow milder.
- to reduce or stop work, effort, application, etc., especially for the sake of rest or recreation.
- to release oneself from inhibition, worry, tension, etc.
Origin of relax
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for relax
I tried to relax too, but I felt my stomach tighten and I began to sweat.I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
Libkin found old beds to put in the wild-looking garden around Dacha, so couples in love could relax on them after the meal.In War-Torn Ukraine, Savva Libkin's Delicious Recipes for Survival
August 12, 2014
Why won't anyone let Justin Bieber relax and have a good time?!An Unlikely Hero Blooms in Ibiza: Orlando Bloom Sort of Punches Justin Bieber
July 30, 2014
But as the opening crawl assures, “none of this is canon, so just relax.”‘Phineas and Ferb’ Pilot Disney’s Premier Voyage into ‘Star Wars’
July 25, 2014
It strolls and meanders, stopping to relax on a bench for a spell and feel the fresh breeze.Disney World Means Everything to a Special Needs Mom
July 17, 2014
There was a clutch on her throat just then, which would not relax at the call of her will.Within the Law
Whatever others might do he must not allow himself to relax so much.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
It has however served to weaken her prepossessions, and relax the chains of her attachment.Imogen
He had told us to relax—but to do anything else would have been impossible.The Floating Island of Madness
Alone in the control compartment, he tried to relax, but it was not possible.Pariah Planet
- to make (muscles, a grip, etc) less tense or rigid or (of muscles, a grip, etc) to become looser or less rigid
- (intr) to take rest or recreation, as from work or efforton Sundays, she just relaxes; she relaxes by playing golf
- to lessen the force of (effort, concentration, etc) or (of effort) to become diminished
- to make (rules or discipline) less rigid or strict or (of rules, etc) to diminish in severity
- (intr) (of a person) to become less formal; unbend
Word Origin and History for relax
late 14c., "to make (something) less compact or dense," from Old French relaschier "set free; soften; reduce" (14c.), from Latin relaxare "relax, loosen, open, stretch out, widen again; make loose," from re- "back" (see re-) + laxare "loosen," from laxus "loose" (see lax). Of persons, "to become less formal," from 1837. Meaning "decrease tension" is from early 15c.; intransitive sense of "to become less tense" is recorded from 1935. Related: Relaxed; relaxing.
- To make or become lax or loose.
- To relieve or become relieved from tension or strain.