/ri lees"/, v., released, releasing, n.v.t.1. to free from confinement, bondage, obligation, pain, etc.; let go: to release a prisoner; to release someone from a debt.2. to free from anything that restrains, fastens, etc.: to release a catapult.3. to allow to be known, issued, done, or exhibited: to release an article for publication.4. Law. to give up, relinquish, or surrender (a right, claim, etc.).n.5. a freeing or releasing from confinement, obligation, pain, emotional strain, etc.6. liberation from anything that restrains or fastens.7. some device or agency for effecting such liberation.8. a grant of permission, as to publish, use, or sell something.9. the releasing of something for publication, performance, use, exhibition, or sale.10. the film, book, record, etc., that is released.11. See press release.12. Law.a. the surrender of a right or the like to another.b. a document embodying such a surrender.13. Obs. Law. a remission, as of a debt, tax, or tribute.14. Mach.a. a control mechanism for starting or stopping a machine, esp. by removing some restrictive apparatus.b. the opening of an exhaust port or valve at or near the working stroke of an engine so that the working fluid can be exhausted on the return stroke.c. the point in the stroke of an engine at which the exhaust port or valve is opened.15. (in jazz or popular music) a bridge.[1250-1300; (v.) ME reles(s)en < OF relesser, relaissier < L relaxare to loosen (see RELAX); (n.) ME reles(e) < OF reles, relais, deriv. of relesser, relaisser]Syn. 1. loose, deliver. RELEASE, FREE, DISMISS, DISCHARGE, LIBERATE, EMANCIPATE may all mean to set at liberty, let loose, or let go. RELEASE and FREE, when applied to persons, suggest a helpful action. Both may be used (not always interchangeably) of delivering a person from confinement or obligation: to free or release prisoners. FREE (less often, RELEASE) is also used for delivering a person from pain, sorrow, etc.: to free from fear. DISMISS, meaning to send away, usually has the meaning of forcing to go unwillingly (to dismiss a servant), but may refer to giving permission to go: The teacher dismissed the class early.DISCHARGE, meaning originally to relieve of a burden (to discharge a gun), has come to refer to that which is sent away, and is often a close synonym to DISMISS; it is used in the meaning permit to go in connection with courts and the armed forces: The court discharged a man accused of robbery.LIBERATE and EMANCIPATE, more formal synonyms for RELEASE and FREE, also suggest action intended to be helpful. LIBERATE suggests particularly the release from unjust punishment, oppression, and the like, and often means to set free through forcible action or military campaign: They liberated the prisoners, the occupied territories, etc. EMANCIPATE also suggests a release of some size and consequence, but one that is less overt, a more formal or legal freedom; and it sometimes connotes an inner liberation: Lincoln emancipated the slaves. John emancipated himself. 2. loose, extricate, disengage. 3. announce, publish. 5. liberation, deliverance, emancipation.Ant. 1. bind. 2. fasten.
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