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From un- +‎ load.



unload (third-person singular simple present unloads, present participle unloading, simple past and past participle unloaded)

Two men unloading goods from a truck in Rwanda (2)
  1. (transitive) To remove the load or cargo from (a vehicle, etc.).
    to unload a ship
    to unload a camel
    • 1944 March and April, T. F. Cameron, “The Working of Marshalling Yards and Goods Sheds”, in Railway Magazine, page 85:
      A loader performs the important work of storing goods in the wagons and of unloading the wagons. In each case considerable skill is required to avoid breakage, and, in the case of loading, skill goes far to conserve wagon space.
  2. (transitive) To remove (the load or cargo) from a vehicle, etc.
    to unload bales of hay from a truck
  3. (intransitive) To deposit one's load or cargo.
    • 1998, Robert A Corbitt, Standard handbook of environmental engineering:
      Some stations have collection vehicles unload on the floor, using a front loader to push material into the hopper.
  4. (transitive, intransitive, figuratively) To give vent to or express; to unburden oneself of.
    to unload on someone
    • 1984, John Arlott; David Rayvern Allen, Arlott on cricket: his writings on the game:
      [] who bowled with such fury that he needed beer to give him something to sweat out, and who unloaded his emotions in words as hard as his bowling.
    • 2023 May 24, Nicholas Nehamas, “Ron DeSantis Joins 2024 Race, Hoping to Topple Trump”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Mr. Trump, who has a mounting list of legal troubles, clearly sees Mr. DeSantis as a political threat and has unloaded on him for months, mocking him as “Ron DeSanctimonious” and slamming his stewardship of Florida.
  5. (transitive, computing) To remove (something previously loaded) from memory.
    • 1993, Tony Martin; Lisa C Towell, The NewWave agent handbook:
      When you unload a DLL, the memory and other system resources it is using will become available for use by other applications.
  6. (transitive) To discharge, pour, or expel.
  7. (transitive) To get rid of or dispose of.
    to unload unprofitable stocks
  8. (transitive, aviation) To reduce the vertical load factor on (an airplane's wing or other lifting surface), typically by pitching downwards toward the ground to decrease angle of attack and reduce the amount of lift generated.
    • 1999 March 24, National Transportation Safety Board, “ 1997 Through 1998—Information and Changes Disseminated by Boeing”, in Aircraft Accident Report: Uncontrolled Descent and Collision with Terrain, USAir Flight 427, Boeing 737-300, N513AU, Near Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, September 8, 1994[2], archived from the original on 4 June 2022, pages 205-206:
      Boeing's article stressed prioritizing roll control during recovery from nose-down bank upsets unless the airplane was in a stall condition; if the airplane was stalled, Boeing recommended recovering from the stall before recovering from the upset. The article described the nose-down upset recovery technique as follows: "Reduce angle of attack. This unloads the wing, allows the airplane to accelerate, which reduces rudder deflection and improves lateral control ability. [] "
  9. (transitive) To deliver forcefully.
  10. (transitive, slang) To ejaculate, particularly within an orifice. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  11. (transitive) To remove the charge from.
    to unload a gun

Derived terms[edit]