verb (used with object)

  1. to take the load from; remove the cargo or freight from: to unload a truck; to unload a cart.
  2. to remove or discharge (a load, group of people, etc.): to unload passengers.
  3. to remove the charge from (a firearm).
  4. to relieve of anything burdensome, oppressive, etc.: He unloaded his responsibilities.
  5. to get rid of (goods, shares of stock, etc.) by sale in large quantities.

verb (used without object)

  1. to unload something.
  2. Informal. to relieve one’s stress by talking, confessing, or the like.


  1. to remove a load or cargo from (a ship, lorry, etc)
  2. to discharge (cargo, freight, etc)
  3. (tr) to relieve of a burden or troubles
  4. (tr) to give vent to (anxiety, troubles, etc)
  5. (tr) to get rid of or dispose of (esp surplus goods)
  6. (tr) to remove the charge of ammunition from (a firearm)

v.1520s, in reference to cargo, from un- (2) + load (v.). Figurative sense (in reference to feelings, etc.) is recorded from 1590s. Related: Unloaded; unloading.

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