Etymology: Middle English relesen, from Anglo-French relesser, from Latin relaxare to relax
Date: 14th century
1. to set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude <release hostages> <release pent-up emotions> <release the brakes>; also to let go ; dismiss <released from her job> 2. to relieve from something that confines, burdens, or oppresses <was released from her promise> 3. to give up in favor of another ; relinquish <release a claim to property> 4. to give permission for publication, performance, exhibition, or sale of; also to make available to the public <the commission released its findings> <release a new movie> intransitive verb to move from one's normal position (as in football or basketball) in order to assume another position or to perform a second assignment Synonyms: see free • releasable adjective II. noun Etymology: Middle English reles, from Anglo-French, from relesser Date: 14th century 1. relief or deliverance from sorrow, suffering, or trouble 2. a. discharge from obligation or responsibility b. (1) relinquishment of a right or claim (2) an act by which a legal right is discharged; specifically a conveyance of a right in lands or tenements to another having an estate in possession 3. a. the act or an instance of liberating or freeing (as from restraint) b. the act or manner of concluding a musical tone or phrase c. the act or manner of ending a sound ; the movement of one or more vocal organs in quitting the position for a speech sound d. the action or manner of throwing a ball <has a quick release> 4. an instrument effecting a legal release 5. the state of being freed 6. a device adapted to hold or release a mechanism as required 7. a. the act of permitting performance or publication; also performance, publication <became a best seller on its release> b. the matter released; especially a statement prepared for the press
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.