Definition of unlock in English:

unlock

verb

[with object]
  • 1Undo the lock of (something), typically with a key.

    ‘he unlocked the door to his room’
    • ‘Bond climbed the few stairs and unlocked his door and locked and bolted it behind him.’
    • ‘Rachel hit the button to undo her alarm, unlocked the trunk and watched Todd load her trunk.’
    • ‘Luckily my car has remote central locking so I am still able to lock and unlock the doors.’
    • ‘I patted her hand awkwardly and walked towards the door, unlocking it with the key still in the lock.’
    • ‘Jay pushed the door open after unlocking it and I found myself stepping in an one room apartment.’
    • ‘I shoved my key into the lock and unlocked the door as fast as I could before sliding in to the driver's seat.’
    • ‘Pushing or pulling a disc between the fingers locks or unlocks the device.’
    • ‘Listening for a moment, he put the key in the lock and unlocked the door, but didn't open it immediately.’
    • ‘She found them and turned it in the lock, unlocking the door and sliding it open.’
    • ‘One of the interesting features of the new building is the automatic security system, which locks and unlocks the doors at preset times.’
    • ‘Ruby puts the key into the lock and unlocks the hatch.’
    • ‘One of the boys from earlier put his key in the lock and unlocked the door.’
    • ‘If it is useful to lock and unlock a car, the usage of the remote extends some more here.’
    • ‘I solved the combination for the lock, unlocked it, and pulled open my locker.’
    • ‘Ayden slipped the rest of the jacket on and moved towards the door, unlocking it and opening to see who it was.’
    • ‘The action uses the rugged and well-proven Benelli system of a bolt carrier and cam that locks and unlocks the twin-lug bolt into a barrel extension.’
    • ‘She looked both ways down the corridor and pulled out a lock set, opening it she pulled out her lock pick and unlocked the door.’
    • ‘The driver used the power locks to unlock the other man's door and it swung open in a matter of seconds.’
    • ‘In seconds, she was at the front door and unlocking the many locks.’
    • ‘I have to wonder at the point of having a park keeper to lock and unlock the gates to the Town Gardens.’
    unbolt, unlatch, unbar, undo, unfasten, unpick, unseal, unclose, open, free, throw open, throw wide
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make (something previously inaccessible or unexploited) available for use.
      ‘the campaign has helped us unlock rich reserves of talent among our employees’
      • ‘The database does that by locking and unlocking access records to the physical CD.’
      • ‘The music selection in Mad Maestro is quite large with thirty-some songs available to unlock.’
      • ‘This has been the key to unlocking the rich historical and anthropological significance of this art form.’
      • ‘It locks or unlocks their respective powers inside you.’
      • ‘I was pretty amazed at how simple and easy it was to lock and unlock folders.’
      • ‘The missions are objective based, and although they don't all have to be completed it pays to as at the end it unlocks a ‘Specialist’ who is available for future missions.’
  • 2Use a password or other form of authentication to access the full functionality or data of (a computer, mobile phone, file, etc.)

    ‘when you unlock your phone, you're presented with the ‘home screen’—the interface that shows off all your apps’
    • ‘You can even dismiss notifications without unlocking your phone.’
    • ‘Anyone with enough time and skill can unlock all content.’
    • ‘By using photos of something that you're trying to learn, you can quiz yourself every time you unlock your computer.’
    • ‘The hard press will activate the screen, and the light touch will unlock the phone.’
    • ‘It also supports music playback controls, so you can pause and skip songs without unlocking your device.’
    • ‘The 5S allows owners to unlock their phone quicker by using a fingerprint instead of a passcode.’
    • ‘I see my desktop once when I unlock my PC in the morning and again when I lock/shutdown at night.’
    • ‘Password managers solve this problem by storing all your passwords in a single database, unlocked by one unique password of your choosing.’
    1. 2.1 Make (a mobile phone) capable of operating on the network of any chosen carrier.
      ‘you cannot unlock your phone while you are under contract’
      • ‘When we say "unlock" in this guide, we don't mean unlocking your phone to use a different carrier, which is a completely different process.’
      • ‘It is illegal to unlock your phone without a carrier's permission.’
      • ‘Telephone companies will unlock phones that are out of contract, but whether they charge a fee to do this varies somewhat.’
      • ‘The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties.’
      • ‘As things currently stand, it is illegal to remove a lock from a device, like unlocking a phone so that you can change carriers for example.’
      • ‘I haven't traveled outside the U.S. for several years, so I'd completely forgotten my current phone wasn't unlocked.’
      • ‘Many Americans unlocked their phones to avoid running up big bills when travelling outside the US.’
      • ‘T-Mobile is usually great about unlocking phones for international travel.’

Phrases

  • unlock the land

    • historical Release Crown land to be used for small farms.

      ‘the administration would press forward with legislation to unlock the land’
      • ‘Colonial governments answered this call in their 1860s development rhetoric of "unlocking the land".’
      • ‘Demands for unlocking the lands emerged as the main opposition to the market-based nostrums of liberal political economy.’
      • ‘Policies were adopted to unlock the land as part of the reforms seen as essential to equalize people in a liberal society.’
      • ‘The champions of this legislation saw it as a means of "unlocking the land" from wealthy squatters.’
      • ‘Increasingly she used her renown to intervene publicly on a range of issues, including "unlocking the lands" of pastoralists.’
      • ‘Advocates of "unlocking the land" faced formidable obstacles.’
      • ‘The group took over only weeks before councillors voted to unlock the land.’
      • ‘The movement to unlock the lands and settle them with small farmers was, in part, a demand for the abolition of official privilege.’
      • ‘In the early years of responsible government, much of the legislatures' efforts were taken up with the stated objective of "unlocking the land".’
      • ‘Campaigning to unlock the lands, he attacked the pastoralists' "ruinous monopoly".’

Pronunciation

unlock

/ʌnˈlɒk/