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relax

[ri-laks] /rɪˈlæks/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make less tense, rigid, or firm; make lax:
to relax the muscles.
2.
to diminish the force of.
3.
to slacken or abate, as effort, attention, etc.
4.
to make less strict or severe, as rules, discipline, etc.:
to relax the requirements for a license.
5.
to release or bring relief from the effects of tension, anxiety, etc.:
A short swim always relaxes me.
verb (used without object)
6.
to become less tense, rigid, or firm.
7.
to become less strict or severe; grow milder.
8.
to reduce or stop work, effort, application, etc., especially for the sake of rest or recreation.
9.
to release oneself from inhibition, worry, tension, etc.
Origin
1350-1400
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 forms
relaxative, relaxatory
[ri-lak-suh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /rɪˈlæk səˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective
relaxer, noun
overrelax, verb
unrelaxing, adjective
Synonyms
1, 6. loosen, slacken. 2. mitigate, weaken, lessen, reduce. 4. ease. 6. unbend. 7. relent, soften.
Antonyms
1, 6. tighten, tense.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for relaxing
  • Reading one of these essays, and then reading the comments, has become a lovely new way of relaxing.
  • The generally relaxing nature of sea-sounds has long been noticed, however, though not those of a storm of course.
  • These drinks might seem to be relaxing and to aid sleep.
  • Make a simple, unobtrusive gesture and think of happy, relaxing things.
  • relaxing the standard may also have been what destroyed it.
  • Meditation is means of relaxation, all you are doing in relaxing your body and mind, not changing it.
  • relaxing on a couch left thoughtfully for tired travelers.
  • The home setting is more familiar, comfortable, and relaxing.
  • On arrival choose from a number of paths for exploring the mountain-take a picnic for a relaxing visit.
  • If you were really enjoying the cruise, truly relaxing, perhaps you weren't accounting for every charge during the cruise.
British Dictionary definitions for relaxing

relax

/rɪˈlæks/
verb
1.
to make (muscles, a grip, etc) less tense or rigid or (of muscles, a grip, etc) to become looser or less rigid
2.
(intransitive) to take rest or recreation, as from work or effort: on Sundays, she just relaxes, she relaxes by playing golf
3.
to lessen the force of (effort, concentration, etc) or (of effort) to become diminished
4.
to make (rules or discipline) less rigid or strict or (of rules, etc) to diminish in severity
5.
(intransitive) (of a person) to become less formal; unbend
Derived Forms
relaxable, adjective
relaxed, adjective
relaxedly (rɪˈlæksɪdlɪ) adverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for relaxing

relax

v.

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
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relaxing in Medicine

relax re·lax (rĭ-lāks')
v. re·laxed, re·lax·ing, re·lax·es

  1. To make or become lax or loose.

  2. 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.
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