Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: relaxare 'to loosen', from laxus 'loose'

relax

verb
     
re‧lax S3 W3
1

rest

[intransitive and transitive] to rest or do something that is enjoyable, especially after you have been working:
I just want to sit down and relax.
What Robyn needed was a drink to relax her.
A hot bath should help to relax you.
2

become calm

[intransitive and transitive] to become quiet and calm after you have been upset or nervous, or to make someone do this:
Once out of danger, he started to relax.
Relax! Everything's fine.
3

muscle

[intransitive and transitive] if you relax a part of your body or it relaxes, it becomes less stiff or less tight:
Gentle exercise can relax stiff shoulder muscles.
4

rules/laws

[transitive] to make a rule or law less strict
relax rules/regulations/controls
Hughes believes that immigration controls should not be relaxed.
5

relax your hold/grip

a) to hold something less tightly than before
relax your hold/grip on
He relaxed his grip on my arm.
b) to become less strict in the way you control something
relax your hold/grip on
The party has no intention of relaxing its hold on the country.
6

relax your concentration/vigilance etc

to reduce the amount of attention you give to something

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary