Etymology
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release (v.)

c. 1300, relēsen, "to withdraw, revoke (a decree, etc.), cancel, lift; remit," from Old French relaissier, relesser "to relinquish, quit, let go, leave behind, abandon, acquit," variant of relacher "release, relax," from Latin relaxare "loosen, stretch out" (from re- "back" (see re-) + laxare "loosen," from PIE root *sleg- "be slack, be languid"). Latin relaxare is the source also of Spanish relajar, Italian relassare, and English relax, and the uncle of relish.

Meaning "alleviate, ease" is mid-14c., as is sense of "set free from (duty, etc.); exonerate." From late 14c. as "grant remission, forgive; set free from imprisonment, military service, etc." Also "give up, relinquish, surrender." In law, c. 1400, "to grant a release of property." Of press reports, attested from 1904; of motion pictures from 1912; of music recordings from 1962. As a euphemism for "to dismiss, fire from a job" it is attested in American English since 1904. Related: Released; releasing.

release (n.)

early 14c., relēs, "abatement of distress; means of deliverance," from Old French relais, reles (12c.), a back-formation from relesser, relaissier "to relinquish, quit, let go, leave behind, abandon, acquit" (see release (v.)). In law, mid-14c., "transferring of property or a right to another;" late 14c. as "release from an obligation; remission of a duty, tribute, etc."

In archery, the meaning "act and manner of releasing" (a bow, etc.) is from 1871. The sense of "action of publication" is from 1907; as "a news item or official statement (to the press)" is by 1927. The meaning "action of making a film available to theaters" is from 1912, later of musical recordings, etc. The sense of "written authorization or permission for publication" is by 1965.

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Definitions of release
1
release (n.)
merchandise issued for sale or public showing (especially a record or film);
a new release from the London Symphony Orchestra
release (n.)
the act of liberating someone or something;
Synonyms: liberation / freeing
release (n.)
a process that liberates or discharges something;
the release of iodine from the thyroid gland
there was a sudden release of oxygen
release (n.)
an announcement distributed to members of the press in order to supplement or replace an oral presentation;
Synonyms: handout / press release
release (n.)
the termination of someone's employment (leaving them free to depart);
Synonyms: dismissal / dismission / discharge / firing / liberation / sack / sacking
release (n.)
euphemistic expressions for death;
Synonyms: passing / loss / departure / exit / expiration / going
release (n.)
a legal document evidencing the discharge of a debt or obligation;
Synonyms: acquittance
release (n.)
a device that when pressed will release part of a mechanism;
Synonyms: button
release (n.)
activity that frees or expresses creative energy or emotion;
Synonyms: outlet / vent
release (n.)
the act of allowing a fluid to escape;
Synonyms: spill / spillage
release (n.)
a formal written statement of relinquishment;
Synonyms: waiver / discharge
release (n.)
(music) the act or manner of terminating a musical phrase or tone;
Synonyms: tone ending
2
release (v.)
release, as from one's grip;
Synonyms: let go of / let go / relinquish
release (v.)
grant freedom to; free from confinement;
Synonyms: free / liberate / unloose / unloosen / loose
release (v.)
let (something) fall or spill from a container;
Synonyms: turn
release (v.)
prepare and issue for public distribution or sale;
Synonyms: publish / bring out / put out / issue
release (v.)
eliminate (a substance);
the plant releases a gas
Synonyms: exhaust / discharge / expel / eject
release (v.)
generate and separate from cells or bodily fluids;
release a hormone into the blood stream
Synonyms: secrete
release (v.)
make (information) available for publication;
release the list with the names of the prisoners
Synonyms: free
release (v.)
part with a possession or right;
Synonyms: relinquish / resign / free / give up
release (v.)
release (gas or energy) as a result of a chemical reaction or physical decomposition;
Synonyms: free / liberate
release (v.)
make (assets) available;
release the holdings in the dictator's bank account
Synonyms: unblock / unfreeze / free
From wordnet.princeton.edu