abatement or relief from bodily or mental work, effort, application, etc.
an activity or recreation that provides such relief; diversion; entertainment.
a loosening or slackening.
diminution or remission of strictness or severity.
Mathematics. a numerical procedure for solving systems of equations by successive approximations of the variables.
  1. the return of a system undergoing dissipation to an initial state of equilibrium after being displaced from it.
  2. the approach to steady-state operation of a system that has undergone dissipation and a change in state or has been subjected to an abrupt periodic disturbance.

Origin of relaxation

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin relaxātiōn- (stem of relaxātiō), equivalent to relaxāt(us) (past participle of relaxāre to relax; see -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·re·lax·a·tion, noun

Synonyms for relaxation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relaxation

Contemporary Examples of relaxation

Historical Examples of relaxation

  • It was simply as to the amount of relaxation the country could bear in the duties.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • There was no least relaxation in the stubborn lines of his face.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • With his whole soul, he marvelled at her softness and relaxation.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • As a relaxation from business, he visited some friends in the West.

  • But the non-arrival of the foe caused a relaxation of vigilance.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare

    Alexander Scott Withers

British Dictionary definitions for relaxation



rest or refreshment, as after work or effort; recreation
a form of rest or recreationhis relaxation is cricket
a partial lessening of a punishment, duty, etc
the act of relaxing or state of being relaxed
physics the return of a system to equilibrium after a displacement from this state
maths a method by which errors resulting from an approximation are reduced by using new approximations
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

Word Origin and History for relaxation

late 14c., "rupture; mid-15c., "remission of a burden or penalty," from Old French relaxacion (14c.) and directly from Latin relaxationem (nominative relaxatio) "an easing, mitigation, relaxation," noun of action from past participle stem of relaxare (see relax). Meaning "relief from hard work or ordinary cares" is from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

relaxation in Medicine




The act of relaxing or the state of being relaxed.
Refreshment of body or mind.
A loosening or slackening.
The lengthening of inactive muscle or muscle fibers.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.