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’
    • ‘Listening for a moment, he put the key in the lock and unlocked the door, but didn't open it immediately.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ayden slipped the rest of the jacket on and moved towards the door, unlocking it and opening to see who it was.’
    • ‘Jay pushed the door open after unlocking it and I found myself stepping in an one room apartment.’
    • ‘I patted her hand awkwardly and walked towards the door, unlocking it with the key still in the lock.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have to wonder at the point of having a park keeper to lock and unlock the gates to the Town Gardens.’
    • ‘Bond climbed the few stairs and unlocked his door and locked and bolted it behind him.’
    • ‘In seconds, she was at the front door and unlocking the many locks.’
    • ‘If it is useful to lock and unlock a car, the usage of the remote extends some more here.’
    • ‘She found them and turned it in the lock, unlocking the door and sliding it open.’
    • ‘Luckily my car has remote central locking so I am still able to lock and unlock the doors.’
    • ‘Pushing or pulling a disc between the fingers locks or unlocks the device.’
    • ‘The driver used the power locks to unlock the other man's door and it swung open in a matter of seconds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I shoved my key into the lock and unlocked the door as fast as I could before sliding in to the driver's seat.’
    • ‘One of the interesting features of the new building is the automatic security system, which locks and unlocks the doors at preset times.’
    • ‘I solved the combination for the lock, unlocked it, and pulled open my locker.’
    • ‘Rachel hit the button to undo her alarm, unlocked the trunk and watched Todd load her trunk.’
    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’
      • ‘I was pretty amazed at how simple and easy it was to lock and unlock folders.’
      • ‘The database does that by locking and unlocking access records to the physical CD.’
      • ‘This has been the key to unlocking the rich historical and anthropological significance of this art form.’
      • ‘The music selection in Mad Maestro is quite large with thirty-some songs available to unlock.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It locks or unlocks their respective powers inside you.’
  • 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’
    • ‘The 5S allows owners to unlock their phone quicker by using a fingerprint instead of a passcode.’
    • ‘It also supports music playback controls, so you can pause and skip songs without unlocking your device.’
    • ‘Password managers solve this problem by storing all your passwords in a single database, unlocked by one unique password of your choosing.’
    • ‘The hard press will activate the screen, and the light touch will unlock the phone.’
    • ‘By using photos of something that you're trying to learn, you can quiz yourself every time you unlock your computer.’
    • ‘Anyone with enough time and skill can unlock all content.’
    • ‘I see my desktop once when I unlock my PC in the morning and again when I lock/shutdown at night.’
    • ‘You can even dismiss notifications without unlocking your phone.’
    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’
      • ‘T-Mobile is usually great about unlocking phones for international travel.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I haven't traveled outside the U.S. for several years, so I'd completely forgotten my current phone wasn't unlocked.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many Americans unlocked their phones to avoid running up big bills when travelling outside the US.’
      • ‘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.’

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’
      • ‘Campaigning to unlock the lands, he attacked the pastoralists' "ruinous monopoly".’
      • ‘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".’
      • ‘Demands for unlocking the lands emerged as the main opposition to the market-based nostrums of liberal political economy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Colonial governments answered this call in their 1860s development rhetoric of "unlocking the land".’
      • ‘The group took over only weeks before councillors voted to unlock the land.’
      • ‘Policies were adopted to unlock the land as part of the reforms seen as essential to equalize people in a liberal society.’
      • ‘Advocates of "unlocking the land" faced formidable obstacles.’

Pronunciation

unlock

/ʌnˈlɒk/