Definition of unleash in English:



  • 1 Release (a dog) from a leash.

    ‘they dig up badger setts and unleash terriers into them’
    • ‘He lost everything when the mighty Jamuna river burst its banks, unleashing a torrent that engulfed his village.’
    • ‘If I were a family member or coach, I'd be wanting him to gradually employ that emotion rather than unleashing it from the first point.’
    • ‘Police were today hunting thugs who unleashed a pack of hunting dogs to kill deer in a National Trust park.’
    • ‘By then he and the BBC were refusing to capitulate as Mr Campbell unleashed a ferocious assault.’
    • ‘Police initiated the attack by unleashing their dogs and injuring several workers.’
    • ‘In fact, the show was responsible for unleashing my own long-suppressed inner clown.’
    • ‘Those slavering, defensive dogs will be unleashed on Frankfurt with a point to prove.’
    • ‘The police knew there was no simpler way to clear the cricket pitch than to unleash a couple of dogs on everyone.’
    • ‘Dogs left unleashed by their owners have wondered into his yard and left excrement.’
    • ‘US warplanes, by contrast, flew high above their targets, unleashing small numbers of bombs and missiles.’
    • ‘But who's to say that they might have been even better if they'd been unleashed on the free market.’
    • ‘A clutch of innovative jewellers, many of them British, has been instrumental in unleashing a revolution in gem taste.’
    • ‘Fergie spins on a sixpence and unleashes a ferocious right hook, which connects cleanly with Fowler's jaw, sending him flying into the crowd.’
    • ‘Have they been successful in unleashing weapons of mass destruction against us?’
    • ‘This could have meant unleashing terrorists in attacks on British and US targets or weapons of mass destruction or both.’
    • ‘John Sutton latched on to the loose ball, galloped forward and unleashed a firm drive into the top corner.’
    • ‘Chronic stress also unleashes an army of free radicals that damages body and brain cells.’
    • ‘The onslaught was unleashed on the day that G8 world leaders met at Gleneagles.’
    • ‘Five Dock police arrived shortly after and cordoned off the area before unleashing a sniffer dog.’
    • ‘A police crackdown on town centre violence has led to thugs unleashing their aggression in the home, says a refuge worker.’
    let loose, release, free, set free, loose, unloose, unbridle, untie, untether, unchain, unbind, unshackle, unmanacle
    discharge, let go of, let fly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Cause (a strong or violent force) to be released or become unrestrained.
      figurative ‘the failure of the talks could unleash more fighting’
      ‘his comment unleashed a storm of protest in India’
      • ‘I never wanted to see that power unleashed.’
      • ‘The show culminated with Rivers swearing at Nielsen unleashing a torrent of Italian curses.’
      • ‘On the eve of the wars unleashed by Edward I's invasion in 1276, Wales had essentially become divided into three zones.’
      • ‘This unleashed a moral fervor, ultimately translated into political movements that brought about the end of slavery.’
      • ‘Doing something cute like that would unleash a firestorm.’
      • ‘Jeb started to retreat from the room as Megan began to unleash the notorious Addelson temper.’
      • ‘If we could only master the technology for unleashing devastating floods, we'd be exporting that, too.’
      • ‘The Socialist Party government, like the previous right wing one, has unleashed neo-liberal attacks on public sector workers.’
      • ‘The spectre of Chicago 1968 looms, when police unleashed a brutal assault on anti Vietnam War protesters at the Democratic convention.’
      • ‘By 1977-1978, the Congress - which had unleashed the Indian Army on the Majlis just three decades earlier - was seeking electoral alliances with it.’
      • ‘The US state unleashed a decade of witch-hunting against the left, which hit even moderate black lobbying organisations.’
      • ‘Beginning slowly, the track drops Stipe's atmospheric vocals to haunting effect, before unleashing Molko's amid a flurry of violent guitars and angry, angry emotions.’
      • ‘Yet the Iraq war unleashed forces in British politics, too.’
      • ‘Just as she unleashes the blast, he throws his sword, then rolls out of the way.’
      • ‘Donnie unleashing his trademark flying back kick on the guy is very cool.’
      • ‘A Colorado judge wrestled with that when facing noise violators who'd unleashed their blaring music on an innocent public.’
      • ‘This system of direct rule by proxy enraged the Unionist right and eventually unleashed a downward spiral of loyalist reaction and republican assertiveness.’
      • ‘But the fall of the Soviet Union brought ambitious local politicians to power and unleashed bitter rivalries over territory, which exploded into an ugly conflict in 1991.’
      • ‘They spent most of the 30 seconds justifying their decision to unleash the yuletide juggernaught in October.’
      • ‘But then, two days later, I discovered the enormity of what I had unleashed.’