Definition of unwind in US English:



  • 1Undo or be undone after winding or being wound.

    with object ‘Ella unwound the long woolen scarf from her neck’
    no object ‘the net unwinds from the reel’
    • ‘He put the videotape in and unwound his bandages to let his wounds breathe.’
    • ‘As film is unwound, it is fed into gripper chains, which hold it firmly on both sides throughout the form-fill-seal process, keeping it flat and taut.’
    • ‘At a tangled pile of drift logs, I unwind the leash from the board and secure the Velcro strap at my ankle.’
    • ‘Based on the original fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, this dance theatre work unwinds its thread from the story like spun gold on a bobbin.’
    • ‘She twirls the fringe on her scarf, which has been unwound from her neck and now hangs past her waist up against her unbuttoned spring coat.’
    • ‘And then I'd prove my point by unwinding the scarf on what they thought was a pretty nondescript costume to reveal hideously convincing strangulation bruising.’
    • ‘‘As long as there is power cut, the business will go on,’ he says, even as his nimble fingers are engaged in unwinding the intricacies of a faulty lamp.’
    • ‘It had served them well but at this depth the cable was almost completely unwound on its reel and the captain was terrified that it would slip off the drum and drop the explorers to the bottom of the ocean.’
    • ‘He carefully unwinds the fuse from the braid, takes it outside, lights it with his Winston and tosses it in the gutter.’
    • ‘She opens the curtains in her stuffy bedroom, unwinds the scarf from her neck and drops it to the floor before sitting, faintly melancholic, on the edge of the bed as the song fades.’
    • ‘Some office person unwound one of the spools of tape to record messages on the ticker tape and others followed their example and in minutes the New York ticker tape welcome was born.’
    • ‘When the steering wheel is turned, said printed circuit board can, according to the direction of turning, be wound onto a winding element or unwound therefrom.’
    • ‘I took one of these envelopes and undid it by unwinding a little thread in back.’
    • ‘Sailors would throw the wood panel into the sea, behind the ship, and the rope would start unwinding from the reel.’
    • ‘Apparently the perpetrator has been well schooled, probably in a previous visit to jail, that just as the drugs were handed to him he unwound the jacket from his arm and said ‘Look there's no weapon, I won't harm you’.’
    • ‘I took it and slowly unwound it, until it lay, spread out, in front of me, and even then I couldn't believe it.’
    • ‘She rummaged through her bag and dug out a muesli bar, trying to keep the wrinkly wrapper quiet as she unwound it.’
    • ‘The spring has been wound very tight, and now we have to let it unwind a bit.’
    • ‘The ‘one party’ government will be unwound before it even gets started, when the mid-terms are held.’
    • ‘I try to unwind it, but it's caught, so I unfasten the pole from the house and take the whole thing inside.’
    unroll, uncoil, unreel, undo, unravel, untwine, untwist, disentangle, spread out, unfurl, open, open out, lay out, straighten, straighten out, unkink
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    1. 1.1no object Relax after a period of work or tension.
      ‘the Grand Hotel is a superb place to unwind’
      • ‘Imagine an unspoiled wilderness, a place to unwind, relax, and just enjoy the many natural beauties that abound there.’
      • ‘A personable and friendly man, he immediately put me at my ease and I found myself beginning to unwind just talking to him.’
      • ‘Its been busy, but today might be a chance to take it a bit slower and relax and unwind.’
      • ‘I went and found a quiet bench to sit down and unwind a bit before heading into the exhibition.’
      • ‘Why not call in, relax unwind and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of The Family Life Centre Boyle.’
      • ‘Guys and girls unwound themselves after a hard day's work sipping the specially created exotic cocktails.’
      • ‘Basil and borage herb tea is especially good for unwinding, and is relaxing and soothing.’
      • ‘The unit, which arrived home on Saturday, will unwind this weekend before facing a fortnight on duty.’
      • ‘After all that hard work, you need to unwind yourself at least once in a year.’
      • ‘It was a gorgeous afternoon, she wanted to take a nap, and there was no question that I needed to unwind a bit.’
      • ‘Just a 15-minute drive away, Branston offers another chance to relax and unwind in some splendour but requires a tad more energy.’
      • ‘Even if your preferred speed of living is fast or faster it's important to find time to relax, unwind and loosen your grip.’
      • ‘Are you looking for a vacation spot where you can relax, unwind and get rid of every day stress without dying of boredom?’
      • ‘It does take a while to unwind depending on the intensity of the role.’
      • ‘Couples looking for a good way to unwind are also advised to check out a Colorado Mountain vacation.’
      • ‘However now they are faced with a load of bureaucratic nonsense denying them their right to relax and unwind with their children.’
      • ‘Someone at our Thanksgiving dinner decided that the best way to get my father to unwind was to pour him a triple of scotch.’
      • ‘To be fair, at the end, she unwound a little and started talking a more natural Estuary demotic which was much more appealing.’
      • ‘Use relaxation techniques to unwind such as listening to music, taking a hot bath, going for a walk, a bike ride or reading a magazine.’
      • ‘Like other water signs, Pisceans see food as a way to escape reality: as the key to relaxing and unwinding after a long, hard day.’
      relax, loosen up, ease off, ease up, let up, slow down, de-stress, unbend, rest, repose
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