being free of or relieved from tension or anxiety: in a relaxed mood.
not strict; easy; informal: the relaxed rules of the club.

Origin of relaxed

First recorded in 1630–40; relax + -ed2
Related formsre·lax·ed·ly [ri-lak-sid-lee, -lakst-lee] /rɪˈlæk sɪd li, -ˈlækst li/, adverbre·lax·ed·ness, nounun·re·laxed, adjective



verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

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

1350–1400; Middle English relaxen < Latin relaxāre to stretch out again, loosen, equivalent to re- re- + laxāre to loosen, derivative of laxus slack, lax
Related formsre·lax·a·tive, re·lax·a·tory [ri-lak-suh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /rɪˈlæk səˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivere·lax·er, nouno·ver·re·lax, verbun·re·lax·ing, adjective

Synonyms for relax

Antonyms for relax

1, 6. tighten, tense. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relaxed

Contemporary Examples of relaxed

Historical Examples of relaxed

  • Garson relaxed his immobility, and a little color crept into his cheeks.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • After a few moments' silence, it had relaxed into its usual weak condition.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • "Don't worry: I'm going to tell you," she said, her grimness not relaxed.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • His muscles tensed suddenly for a quick spring, then relaxed.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • Suddenly I relaxed my hold, for I was afraid of hurting her now.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

British Dictionary definitions for relaxed



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
Derived Formsrelaxable, adjectiverelaxed, adjectiverelaxedly (rɪˈlæksɪdlɪ), adverb

Word Origin for relax

C15: from Latin relaxāre to loosen, from re- + laxāre to loosen, from laxus loose, lax
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 relaxed



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

relaxed in Medicine




To make or become lax or loose.
To relieve or become relieved from tension or strain.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.