verb (used with object), re·leased, re·leas·ing.


Nearby words

  1. relay fast,
  2. relay language,
  3. relay race,
  4. relearn,
  5. relearning,
  6. release copy,
  7. release date,
  8. release print,
  9. release therapy,
  10. released time

Origin of release

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English reles(s)en < Old French relesser, relaissier < Latin relaxāre to loosen (see relax); (noun) Middle English reles(e) < Old French reles, relais, derivative of relesser, relaisser

1. bind. 2. fasten.

Related forms
Can be confusedre-lease release

Synonym study

1. Release, free, dismiss, discharge, liberate, emancipate may all mean to set at liberty, let loose, or let go. Release and free, when applied to persons, suggest a helpful action. Both may be used (not always interchangeably) of delivering a person from confinement or obligation: to free or release prisoners. Free (less often, release ) is also used for delivering a person from pain, sorrow, etc.: to free from fear. Dismiss, meaning to send away, usually has the meaning of forcing to go unwillingly ( to dismiss a servant ), but may refer to giving permission to go: The teacher dismissed the class early. Discharge, meaning originally to relieve of a burden ( to discharge a gun ), has come to refer to that which is sent away, and is often a close synonym to dismiss; it is used in the meaning permit to go in connection with courts and the armed forces: The court discharged a man accused of robbery. Liberate and emancipate, more formal synonyms for release and free, also suggest action intended to be helpful. Liberate suggests particularly the release from unjust punishment, oppression, and the like, and often means to set free through forcible action or military campaign: They liberated the prisoners, the occupied territories, etc. Emancipate also suggests a release of some size and consequence, but one that is less overt, a more formal or legal freedom; and it sometimes connotes an inner liberation: Lincoln emancipated the slaves. John emancipated himself. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for un-releasable


verb (tr)

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
  1. the opening of the exhaust valve of a steam engine near the end of the piston stroke
  2. 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
Derived Formsreleaser, noun

Word Origin for release

C13: from Old French relesser, from Latin relaxāre to slacken; see relax

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 un-releasable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper