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[uhn-wahynd] /ʌnˈwaɪnd/
verb (used with object), unwound, unwinding.
to undo or loosen from or as if from a coiled condition:
to unwind a rolled bandage; to unwind a coiled rope.
to reduce the tension of; relax:
to unwind a person with a drink.
to disentangle or disengage; untwist:
to unwind one's legs from around the stool.
verb (used without object), unwound, unwinding.
to become unwound.
to become relieved of tension; relax:
After work we can have a drink and unwind.
Origin of unwind
1275-1325; Middle English onwinden; see un-2, wind2
Related forms
unwindable, adjective
unwinder, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unwind
  • Calming, orderly, serviceable entries allow you to unwind and relax.
  • Then, after you land, check in and go somewhere to relax and unwind and revel in your new surroundings for a bit.
  • Adults-only zones and flexible dining options offer parents a chance to unwind and relax.
  • On your way there you will have four days to relax and unwind from all the stress of life.
  • S he teaches yoga because it allows us to unwind, relax and be with ourselves.
  • When resilin is swollen with water, its coils can rotate freely, which allows the proteins to unwind as they elongate.
  • It was an entertaining way to unwind after a day of research.
  • The gatherings allow professors to get to know each other in an informal setting as they unwind from their busy week.
  • Happy hours and dinners at the local pub can be a great way to unwind and meet with other grad students.
  • It took a while to unwind, to savor the surprise of the music.
British Dictionary definitions for unwind


verb -winds, -winding, -wound
to slacken, undo, or unravel or cause to slacken, undo, or unravel
(transitive) to disentangle
to make or become relaxed: he finds it hard to unwind after a busy day at work
Derived Forms
unwindable, adjective
unwinder, 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 unwind

early 14c., "to undo" (a bandage, wrapping, etc.), from un- (2) + wind (v.). Cf. Old English unwindan, Dutch ontwinden, Old High German intwindan. Refl. sense is recorded from 1740; figurative sense of "to release oneself from tensions, to relax" is recorded from 1938. Related: Unwound; unwinding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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