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[uhn-lohd] /ʌnˈloʊd/
verb (used with object)
to take the load from; remove the cargo or freight from:
to unload a truck; to unload a cart.
to remove or discharge (a load, group of people, etc.):
to unload passengers.
to remove the charge from (a firearm).
to relieve of anything burdensome, oppressive, etc.:
He unloaded his responsibilities.
to get rid of (goods, shares of stock, etc.) by sale in large quantities.
verb (used without object)
to unload something.
Informal. to relieve one's stress by talking, confessing, or the like.
Origin of unload
1515-25; un-2 + load
Related forms
unloader, noun
self-unloading, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unload
  • At the dock, commercial fishermen unload their catch before their boats are hoisted by crane from the sea.
  • Get more public transportation to unload the roads then drop your speed.
  • The price can vary, of course, and occasionally a dealer will get a big shipment of stolen needles and unload them cheap.
  • Now we're the ones who unload the car and carry the heaviest bags.
  • He has his eye on a spice box, so he decided to unload the menorah.
  • The smart play was to wait for the ball to settle, then unload.
  • Instead they store heat during the day and unload it in the cool of the night.
  • The user bags items while shopping, thus avoiding having to unload and reload the cart at the register.
  • It's true that you can sell a home to unload a mortgage, while you can never sell off your education.
  • We hired movers to load a pod on our end, and then other movers to unload.
British Dictionary definitions for unload


to remove a load or cargo from (a ship, lorry, etc)
to discharge (cargo, freight, etc)
(transitive) to relieve of a burden or troubles
(transitive) to give vent to (anxiety, troubles, etc)
(transitive) to get rid of or dispose of (esp surplus goods)
(transitive) to remove the charge of ammunition from (a firearm)
Derived Forms
unloader, noun
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 unload

1520s, in reference to cargo, from un- (2) + load (v.). Figurative sense (in reference to feelings, etc.) is recorded from 1590s. Related: Unloaded; unloading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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