tr.v. re·leased, re·leas·ing, re·leas·es
a. To set free from confinement or bondage: released the prisoner.
b. To set free from physical restraint or binding; let go: released the balloons; released the brake.
c. To cause or allow to move away or spread from a source or place of confinement: cells that release histamine.
d. To make available for use: released the funds for the project.
a. To set free from obligations, commitments, or debt: released them from their contract.
b. To relieve of care or suffering: Only death could release him from suffering.
a. To issue for performance, sale, publication, or distribution: release a new movie.
b. To make known or available: released the new study on the drug.
4. Law To surrender (a right, claim, or title).
a. Deliverance or liberation, as from confinement.
b. Discharge from an obligation or commitment.
c. Relief from suffering or care.
a. An unfastening or letting go, as of something caught or held fast.
b. Sports The action of throwing a ball or propelling a puck: a quarterback with a quick release.
c. Linguistics The movement of a vocal organ or organs so as to end the closure of a stop consonant.
3. A device or catch for locking or releasing a mechanism.
a. The act or an instance of issuing something for publication, use, or distribution.
b. Something thus issued: a new release of a software program.
c. The condition of being available, in use, or in publication: a movie in wide release.
a. The surrender of a right, title, or claim, especially to one against whom the right, title, or claim would be enforced or exercised.
b. The document attesting to such surrender.
[Middle English relesen, from Old French relaissier, alteration of relacher, from Latin relaxāre; see RELAX.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.