- to free from confinement, bondage, obligation, pain, etc.; let go: to release a prisoner; to release someone from a debt.
- to free from anything that restrains, fastens, etc.: to release a catapult.
- to allow to be known, issued, done, or exhibited: to release an article for publication.
- Law. to give up, relinquish, or surrender (a right, claim, etc.).
- a freeing or releasing from confinement, obligation, pain, emotional strain, etc.
- liberation from anything that restrains or fastens.
- some device or agency for effecting such liberation.
- a grant of permission, as to publish, use, or sell something.
- the releasing of something for publication, performance, use, exhibition, or sale.
- the film, book, record, etc., that is released.
- press release.
- the surrender of a right or the like to another.
- a document embodying such a surrender.
- Law Obsolete. a remission, as of a debt, tax, or tribute.
- a control mechanism for starting or stopping a machine, especially by removing some restrictive apparatus.
- the opening of an exhaust port or valve at or near the working stroke of an engine so that the working fluid can be exhausted on the return stroke.
- the point in the stroke of an engine at which the exhaust port or valve is opened.
- (in jazz or popular music) a bridge.
Origin of release
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to lease again.
- Law. to make over (land, property, etc.), as to another.
- a contract for re-leasing land or property.
- the land or property re-leased.
Origin of re-lease
Examples from the Web for release
Rashad was there to celebrate the release of the Civil Rights drama Selma.Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
The United States government might not release that information for years, if ever.Was Sony Hit With a Second Hack?
January 8, 2015
On his eighth try, more than three decades after he went in, the parole board finally voted to release Sam.
The “nature of the crime” was too serious to release him, they said.
And so, he says he left prison without proper ID, just his release papers and the “dress-out gear” he was given by the state.
Until that ecstasy of release should come, he would do his duty,—yes, his duty.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Release can come only when the race at large is willing to cast the evil thing off.The Conquest of Fear
Now I am advised by others to try on my release to forget that I have ever been in a prison at all.De Profundis
It was as if some mighty pent force were struggling for release.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
There was no joy over her release in his tones, nor pity for her condition.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
- to free (a person, animal, etc) from captivity or imprisonment
- to free (someone) from obligation or duty
- to free (something) from (one's grip); let go or fall
- to issue (a record, film, book, etc) for sale or circulation
- to make (news or information) known or allow (news or information) to be made knownto release details of an agreement
- law to relinquish (a right, claim, title, etc) in favour of someone else
- ethology to evoke (a response) through the presentation of a stimulus that produces the response innately
- the act of freeing or state of being freed, as from captivity, imprisonment, duty, pain, life, etc
- the act of issuing for sale or publication
- something issued for sale or public showing, esp a film or a recorda new release from Bob Dylan
- a news item, document, etc, made available for publication, broadcasting, etc
- law the surrender of a claim, right, title, etc, in favour of someone else
- a control mechanism for starting or stopping an engine
- the opening of the exhaust valve of a steam engine near the end of the piston stroke
- the moment at which this valve opens
- the electronic control regulating how long a note sounds after a synthesizer key has been released
- the control mechanism for the shutter in a camera
Word Origin and History for release
c.1300, "to withdraw, revoke (a decree, etc.), cancel, lift; remit," from Old French relaissier, relesser "to relinquish, quit, let go, leave behind, abandon, acquit," variant of relacher "release, relax," from Latin relaxare "loosen, stretch out" (see relax). Cf. Spanish relajar, Italian relassare.
Meaning "alleviate, ease" is mid-14c., as is sense of "free from (duty, etc.); exonerate." From late 14c. as "grant remission, forgive; set free from imprisonment, military service, etc." Also "give up, relinquish, surrender." In law, c.1400, "to grant a release of property." Of press reports, attested from 1904; of motion pictures, from 1912; of music recordings, from 1962. As a euphemism for "to dismiss, fire from a job" it is attested in American English since 1904. Related: Released; releasing.
early 14c., "abatement of distress; means of deliverance," from Old French relais, reles (12c.), a back-formation from relesser, relaissier (see release (v.)). In law, mid-14c., "transferring of property or a right to another;" late 14c. as "release from an obligation; remission of a duty, tribute, etc." Meaning "act and manner of releasing" (a bow, etc.) is from 1871. Sense of "action of publication" is from 1907.