Definition of relaxation in US English:



  • 1The state of being free from tension and anxiety.

    • ‘Since the body, mind and spirit are in harmony, you experience relaxation and contentment.’
    • ‘Patients in the acupuncture group received therapy in which the acupuncture points related to relaxation and anxiety were stimulated.’
    • ‘This course aims to introduce people to these essences which can be used to bring about a renewal of positive energy, relaxation and well being.’
    • ‘Adult baths may also incorporate added amenities, such as whirlpool tubs, saunas, and bidets, which increase the level of relaxation and luxury.’
    • ‘Kraft completed a study of the possible value of hypnotic relaxation in the management of anxiety in 12 terminally ill patients with cancer.’
    • ‘More people are dressing for comfort and relaxation.’
    • ‘Her symptoms persisted despite employment of hypnotic imagery for general relaxation, as well as specific imagery to relax her vocal cords.’
    • ‘In most instances, the patient already has received preoperative medication in an effort to lower her anxiety level and promote relaxation.’
    • ‘Sedative gases and drugs relieve anxiety and cause temporary relaxation without putting you to sleep.’
    • ‘Just remember that it is a matter of relaxation and being comfortable.’
    • ‘And this isn't just any tub; this one is complete with a pillow molded into the tub, promising ultimate comfort and relaxation.’
    • ‘Like the Finns have known for centuries Koreans have discovered that daily saunas bring rejuvenation, relaxation and general well-being.’
    • ‘The body, mind and spirit are in harmony and you experience a feeling of contentment and relaxation today.’
    • ‘At first sight his five interlinked billboards, showing a series of outdoor scenes, exude a sense of relaxation and contentment.’
    • ‘Two work-shops focusing specifically on positive thinking, relaxation, deep breathing and visualisation in pregnancy are planned for this month.’
    • ‘It typically produces a feeling of wellbeing, relaxation and sleepiness.’
    • ‘They don't always come cheap, but often the expense is well worth the sheer relaxation and mental tranquillity that a week in the islands can so easily induce.’
    • ‘Controls included remaining on a waiting list, anxiety management training, relaxation training, and non-directive psychotherapy.’
    • ‘The aim of the weekend will be one of complete relaxation and enhancement of well-being.’
    • ‘Everything is designed for total comfort and relaxation.’
    mental repose, composure
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    1. 1.1 Recreation or rest, especially after a period of work.
      ‘his favorite form of relaxation was reading detective novels’
      • ‘Families en route to Belize can tailor make a holiday that combines rest and relaxation for the parents with fun and education for the children.’
      • ‘He evidently preferred not to take sabbaticals in order to keep his summers free for writing and relaxation.’
      • ‘It is due to ignorance, confusion and anxiety that parents subject their children to a strict schedule, denying them rest, relaxation and enjoyment.’
      • ‘This is a time of rest from sorrow and relaxation after a period of anxiety.’
      • ‘Nothing is guaranteed in this sport - at least the scenery and relaxation is great and they're free!’
      • ‘Hargreaves has a funny notion of relaxation - the foursome used their free time to build their own recording studio.’
      • ‘Everywhere you go there is the customary welcome drink, a pick-up to take you to a standard room for rest and relaxation before the pilgrimage.’
      • ‘After a weekend of miserable torrential rain and high winds people across Kerry would do almost anything to escape the country for a few days of rest and relaxation in the sunshine.’
      • ‘A three-week rest and relaxation period, originally scheduled for Geraldton, will now be held in Carnarvon before the ship sets sail for the Mid West again.’
      • ‘Combining this with a period of relaxation, perhaps by reading something light, meditating, or taking a hot bath can also help you get better sleep.’
      • ‘To help improve the quality of these attributes, a series of exercises should be undertaken in conjunction with a good and healthy diet, plus adequate rest and relaxation.’
      • ‘The summer vacation is always a period of enjoyment, relaxation and fun.’
      • ‘Fiji and the Solomon Islands are much better known for relaxation than tension.’
      • ‘This provides time for independent work, if students and professors choose, and is a more manageable amount of rest and relaxation.’
      • ‘Then it was off to Bondai beach for a little rest and relaxation and to sample the Christmas turkey by the sea before hiring a camper and setting off into ‘the bush’.’
      • ‘In the summer, the most popular forms of relaxation are trips to the beach at Lake Sevan and picnics in the countryside, where they roast meat and vegetables over open fires.’
      • ‘There is always lots of free time for relaxation and to explore the local area.’
      • ‘While you may be eager to begin this period of rest and relaxation, don't be in a rush to jump in the car after a long day of work.’
      • ‘Yet wine tends to bespeak a lifestyle of luxury and relaxation, of the enjoyment and appreciation of the creation of the vintner.’
      • ‘This doesn't mean you can't enjoy some daily rest and relaxation.’
      recreation, enjoyment, amusement, entertainment, diversion, distraction, fun, pleasure, rest, refreshment, relief, respite, leisure, leisure activity, leisure pursuit
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    2. 1.2 The loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract.
      • ‘The contraction and relaxation of cardiac muscle results from the depolarisation and repolarisation of myocardial cells.’
      • ‘The efflux of potassium ions hyperpolarizes the cell membrane, resulting in vascular smooth muscle relaxation.’
      • ‘The depth and rate of breathing are controlled by special centres in the brain, which influence the nerves that cause contraction and relaxation of the muscles of respiration.’
      • ‘Junctin is an important membrane protein that can influence the contraction and relaxation of the heart muscles when it merges with calcium ions.’
      • ‘Nitroglycerin causes relaxation of vascular smooth muscle in both arteries and veins, although the effect on veins predominates at low doses.’
      • ‘One study evaluated paced respiration, muscle relaxation, or biofeedback control in 33 menopausal women with frequent hot flashes.’
      • ‘People with heartburn have either chronic weakness of that muscle or inappropriate relaxation of the muscle.’
      • ‘These may include muscle relaxation, yoga, biofeedback and deep breathing.’
      • ‘Time management, biofeedback, or muscle relaxation techniques also may help.’
      • ‘Biofeedback and progressive muscle relaxation training demonstrated some decrease in hot flushes.’
      • ‘Stimulation of a beta receptor causes muscle vasodilation, bronchial relaxation, and cardiac acceleration.’
      • ‘Music, massage, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, and therapeutic touch are a few examples.’
      • ‘Some athletes routinely use biofeedback, muscle relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, and stress management techniques.’
      • ‘Dr. O'Neill could have provided valuable assistance especially with respect to uterine relaxation before and during the manoeuvres to free the fetus.’
      • ‘I wouldn't be surprised if the thin eating champs were born with weak pyloric sphincters, or exhibit higher capacity for smooth muscle relaxation.’
      • ‘It should be noticed that contraction of the smooth muscles results in relaxation or detumescence.’
      • ‘The relaxation of the sphincter muscle lasts for 5 to 10 seconds.’
      • ‘In addition, you might try other strategies, such as progressive muscle relaxation, acupuncture and acupressure.’
      • ‘This muscle relaxation causes your throat tissues to sag.’
      • ‘More structured techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation and neutral guided imagery may be more suited for these individuals.’
      loosening, slackening, loosing, easing
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  • 2The action of making a rule or restriction less strict.

    ‘relaxation of censorship rules’
    • ‘So, this temporary relaxation of the rule requiring trustees to provide transfer values to ex-members may halt the migration of some money from company pension schemes.’
    • ‘In the week that the government launched its road safety charter, the construction industry is seeking relaxation of restrictions on the loads carried by dumpers using roads.’
    • ‘A farm leader has welcomed Minister Joe Walsh's further relaxation on animal movement restrictions imposed during the foot-and-mouth emergency.’
    • ‘The deal followed earlier relaxation of rules governing India's foreign ownership legislation in the media sector.’
    • ‘Airline companies have been crying out for a relaxation of the rules that would allow consolidation within the industry.’
    • ‘There are no ‘exceptional’ or ‘policy’ grounds that would warrant the relaxation of the normal rules as to causation.’
    • ‘He predicted further relaxation of the rules in the future.’
    • ‘The relaxation of rules and the news that crude oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be made available helped calm the energy markets.’
    • ‘In fact, the strong trend in the country is toward the relaxation of rules disfavoring gay parenting.’
    • ‘There have been increased calls for a relaxation of the rule.’
    • ‘Thirdly, there was an explosion of country banks, made possible by the relaxation in the rules governing the supply of money.’
    • ‘Kung felt that Konner's presence permitted this relaxation of the ethical rules.’
    • ‘Events in France were preceded by Joseph II's relaxation of the harsh restrictions on the civil liberties of the Jewish population.’
    • ‘The relaxation of restrictions on the movement of farm machinery will be of particular value in the context of those who now wish to cut silage.’
    • ‘But Mr. Walsh said that in the light of the continuing threat, no relaxation of the current restriction on animal movement is possible at present.’
    • ‘But as soon as consumers demand the repeal or relaxation of these restrictions, the farmers rise in their defense.’
    • ‘Financial deregulation may be defined as an unambiguous relaxation of the rules of financial-services competition for all players.’
    • ‘He repeatedly stressed he was not linking aid to any relaxation of the rules on soccer and insisted no pre-conditions would be fixed to a GAA grant application.’
    • ‘I recall that in the 1950s some enterprising spirits asked the Permanent Secretary if some relaxation of this rule could be allowed.’
    • ‘The need for a relaxation of the rules governing participation in milk production partnerships was also highlighted.’
    moderation, modification, easing, loosening, lessening, lightening, slackening
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  • 3Physics
    The restoration of equilibrium following disturbance.

    • ‘The high relaxation rate may indicate a surface crossing (conical intersection) between both states.’
    • ‘The process of vibrational relaxation involves the dissipation of excess vibrational energy into the surroundings.’
    • ‘After light excitation, the protein transfers the excess energy via vibrational relaxation to the surrounding water bath.’
    • ‘However, such a complex formula would hardly be of practical use for analysing measured pressure relaxation curves.’
    • ‘The large bandwidths of the bands reflected the short lifetime of these states due to fast exciton relaxation.’