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Borrowed from Old French relaxer, from Latin relax?re ("relax, loosen, open"), from re- ("back") + lax?re ("loosen"), from laxus ("loose, free").

A man relaxing and reading a book.


  • IPA(key): /'læks/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æks


relax (third-person singular simple present relaxes, present participle relaxing, simple past and past participle relaxed)

  1. (transitive) To calm down.
  2. (transitive) To make something loose.
    to relax a rope or cord
    to relax the muscles or sinews
  3. (intransitive) To become loose.
  4. (transitive) To make something less severe or tense.
    to relax discipline
    to relax one's attention or endeavours
  5. (intransitive) To become less severe or tense.
  6. (transitive) To make something (such as codes and regulations) more lenient.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jonathan Swift
      The statute of mortmain was at several times relaxed by the legislature.
    • 1953, "Section 2. Jurisdiction", in Edward Samuel Corwin, editor, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation[1], page 589:
      The Court rejected the contention that the doctrine of sovereign immunity should be relaxed as inapplicable to suits for specific relief as distinguished from damage suits, saying: "The Government, as representative of the community as a whole, cannot be stopped in its tracks by any plaintiff who presents a disputed question of property or contract right."
  7. (intransitive, of codes and regulations) To become more lenient.
  8. (transitive) To relieve (something) from stress.
    Amusement relaxes the mind.
  9. (transitive, dated) To relieve from constipation; to loosen; to open.
    An aperient relaxes the bowels.


Derived terms

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.




relax m (invariable)

  1. relaxation (mental or physical)



Pseudo-anglicism, shortening of English relaxion or erroneously borrowing of English relax.


relax m (uncountable)

  1. relaxation

Derived terms

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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