un- +‎ leash



unleash (third-person singular simple present unleashes, present participle unleashing, simple past and past participle unleashed)

  1. (transitive) To free from a leash, or as from a leash.
    Antonyms: leash, leash up
    He unleashed his dog in the park.
  2. (figuratively) To let go; to release.
    He unleashed his fury.
    • 2011 October 1, John Sinnott, “Aston Villa 2 - 0 Wigan”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      As Bent pulled away to the far post, Agbonlahor opted to go it alone, motoring past Gary Caldwell before unleashing a shot into the roof of the net.
    • 2020 June 3, Andrew Mourant, “A safer railway in a greener habitat”, in Rail, page 58:
      Storm Charlie had raged throught [sic] the night and was unleashing further gusts on the morning that RAIL was due to inspect a vegetation management project in Kent. Bit by bit, the train timetable unravelled. A trip beginning at Bradford-on-Avon belatedly reached Bath, but that turned out to be journey's end.
  3. (figuratively) To precipitate; to bring about.
    • 2013 April 9, Andrei Lankov, “Stay Cool. Call North Korea’s Bluff.”, in New York Times[2]:
      People who talk about an imminent possibility of war seldom pose this question: What would North Korea’s leadership get from unleashing a war that they are likely to lose in weeks, if not days?