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[uhn-cheyn] /ʌnˈtʃeɪn/
verb (used with object)
to free from or as if from chains; set free.
Origin of unchain
First recorded in 1575-85; un-2 + chain
Related forms
unchainable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unchain
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was impossible for me to unchain myself, even at my greatest strength.

    The Brass Bell Eugne Sue
  • You must unchain the dog and take him to the milestone by the crossroads.

    Harding's luck E. [Edith] Nesbit
  • We cannot assume that Russia desires to unchain such a European war.

  • Such are the persons who want to unchain the hydra of revolutions!

  • At that date it was no little matter to coax him round to unchain his vessel.

    Field and Hedgerow Richard Jefferies
  • May not a modern Riquetti unchain so much, and set it drifting,—which also shall be seen?

    The French Revolution Thomas Carlyle
  • The royalists only awaited the favorable moment to unchain their vengeance on the capital.

  • I am yours to chain or unchain; I am your fighting man, your bloodhound, your leashed panther!

    Carlyon Sahib Gilbert Murray
  • John orders his aides to unchain the prisoner and to fasten her firmly to the straw bed.

British Dictionary definitions for unchain


verb (transitive)
to remove a chain or chains from
to set at liberty; make free
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unchain

1580s, from un- (2) "opposite of" + chain (v.). Figurative sense of "to liberate" is recorded from 1793. Related: Unchained; unchaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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