1. To make lax or loose; to make less close, firm, rigid, tense, or the like; to slacken; to loosen; to open; as, to relax a rope or cord; to relax the muscles or sinews. Horror . . . All his joints relaxed. (milton) Nor served it to relax their serried files. (Milton)
2. To make less severe or rogorous; to abate the stringency of; to remit in respect to strenuousness, esrnestness, or effort; as, to relax discipline; to relax one’s attention or endeavors. The stature of mortmain was at several times relaxed by the legilature. (swift)
3. Hence, to relieve from attention or effort; to ease; to recreate; to divert; as, amusement relaxes the mind.
4. To relieve from constipation; to loosen; to open; as, an aperient relaxes the bowels.
Synonym: To slacken, loosen, loose, remit, abate, mitigate, ease, unbend, divert.
Origin: L. Relaxare; pref. Re- re- – laxare to loose, to slacken, from laxus loose. See Lax, and cf. Relay, Release.