- 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 relaxing
The rest of the time he generally has staycations, relaxing at home.Will There Soon Be Three Living Popes?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
August 19, 2014
It also includes unique coping methods, such as voice-recorded mindfulness and relaxation exercises, or relaxing music.10 Best Apps to Train Your Brain
June 9, 2014
Something in her wiring has taught her that relaxing her defenses is dangerous.When An Adopted Child Won’t Attach
May 2, 2014
Instead of medicine, doctors prefer to treat their patients with a comforting chat in relaxing atmosphere.Kiev’s Protestors Put on Uniforms
March 15, 2014
He was reportedly chatting with the oligarch about relaxing E.U. aluminum tariffs.Britain’s KGB Sugar Daddy
March 7, 2014
He was tired and he'd looked forward to relaxing a while before the show.
There was a dry tightness in his throat and he concentrated on relaxing his tension.
Lingard, relaxing the tenseness of his stare, looked at the young man, thoughtfully.The Rescue
In our particular department the relaxing of authority was specially apparent.Tom, Dick and Harry
Talbot Baines Reed
Was it possible that it was relaxing its grasp, releasing its prey?Lavengro
- 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 relaxing
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.