Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


tr.v. re·leased, re·leas·ing, re·leas·es
a. To set free from confinement or bondage: released the prisoner.
b. To set free from physical restraint or binding; let go: released the balloons; released the brake.
c. To cause or allow to move away or spread from a source or place of confinement: cells that release histamine.
d. To make available for use: released the funds for the project.
a. To set free from obligations, commitments, or debt: released them from their contract.
b. To relieve of care or suffering: Only death could release him from suffering.
a. To issue for performance, sale, publication, or distribution: release a new movie.
b. To make known or available: released the new study on the drug.
4. Law To surrender (a right, claim, or title).
a. Deliverance or liberation, as from confinement.
b. Discharge from an obligation or commitment.
c. Relief from suffering or care.
a. An unfastening or letting go, as of something caught or held fast.
b. Sports The action of throwing a ball or propelling a puck: a quarterback with a quick release.
c. Linguistics The movement of a vocal organ or organs so as to end the closure of a stop consonant.
3. A device or catch for locking or releasing a mechanism.
a. The act or an instance of issuing something for publication, use, or distribution.
b. Something thus issued: a new release of a software program.
c. The condition of being available, in use, or in publication: a movie in wide release.
5. Law
a. The surrender of a right, title, or claim, especially to one against whom the right, title, or claim would be enforced or exercised.
b. The document attesting to such surrender.

[Middle English relesen, from Old French relaissier, alteration of relacher, from Latin relaxāre; see relax.]


In air defense, weapons and crews which have been released from commitments and states of readiness. When so released, they are given a time at which a state of readiness will be resumed.
References in classic literature ?
When he was released he rented a room above a shoe-repairing shop at the lower end of Main Street and put out the sign that announced himself as a doctor.
Shimerda, and I wondered whether his released spirit would not eventually find its way back to his own country.
At that instant of extreme danger, a dark hand and glancing knife appeared before him; the Indian released his hold, as the blood flowed freely from around the severed tendons of the wrist; and while Duncan was drawn backward by the saving hand of Uncas, his charmed eyes still were riveted on the fierce and disappointed countenance of his foe, who fell sullenly and disappointed down the irrecoverable precipice.
He would have released himself, but strove in vain to do so.
Then, as she released me, I made it out to her, made it out perhaps only now with full coherency even to myself.
This woman did not tell her that she made her head ache, but, on the contrary, she hugged her, and laughed, and cried, till her sanity was a thing to be doubted of; and when released from her, Eva flew from one to another, shaking hands and kissing, in a way that Miss Ophelia afterwards declared fairly turned her stomach.
Just as we stepped across the threshold the executioner gave his machine a slight turn, which wrung a cry from both the prisoner and the woman; but I shouted, and the executioner released the strain without waiting to see who spoke.
He released the tick and put him on the long flat desk.
They reached town by three o'clock the third day, glad to be released, after such a journey, from the confinement of a carriage, and ready to enjoy all the luxury of a good fire.
I quickly released the animal, and lifted it into the garden.
Something seemed to have been unbound and released in him, very quietly.
His hands released her as he uttered this cry, and went up to his white hair, which they tore in a frenzy.

Full browser ?