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relax verb (relaxes, relaxed, relaxing) 1 a to make (part of the body, muscles, one's grip, etc) less tense, stiff or rigid; b intrans said of muscles, a grip, etc: to become less tense; to become looser or slacker. 2 tr & intr to make or become less tense, nervous or worried. 3 intrans said of a person: to become less stiff or formal. 4 tr & intr to give or take rest from work or effort. 5 tr & intr said of discipline, rules, etc: to make or become less strict or severe. 6 to lessen the force, strength or intensity of something relaxed his vigilance. relaxed adj. relaxedly adverb. relaxing adj.
ETYMOLOGY: 15c: from Latin relaxare to loosen.
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