Definition of relaxation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌriːlækˈseɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌriːlækˈseɪʃn//
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  1. 1[uncountable] ways of resting and enjoying yourself; time spent resting and enjoying yourself I go hill-walking for relaxation. a few days of relaxation relaxation techniques Synonymsentertainmentfun recreation relaxation play pleasure amusementThese are all words for things or activities used to entertain people when they are not working.entertainment films, television, music, etc. used to entertain people:There are three bars, with live entertainment seven nights a week.fun (rather informal) behaviour or activities that are not serious but come from a sense of enjoyment:It wasn’t serious—it was all done in fun. We didn’t mean to hurt him. It was just a bit of fun. The lottery provides harmless fun for millions.recreation (rather formal) things people do for enjoyment when they are not working:His only form of recreation is playing football.relaxation (rather formal) things people do to rest and enjoy themselves when they are not working; the ability to relax:I go hill-walking for relaxation.recreation or relaxation?Both these words can be used for a wide range of activities, physical and mental, but relaxation is sometimes used for gentler activities than recreation:I play the flute in a wind band for recreation. I listen to music for relaxation.play things that people, especially children, do for enjoyment rather than as work:the happy sounds of children at playpleasure the activity of enjoying yourself, especially in contrast to working:Are you in Paris for business or pleasure?amusement the fact of being entertained by something:What do you do for amusement round here?Patterns to do something for entertainment/​fun/​recreation/​relaxation/​pleasure/​amusement to provide entertainment/​fun/​recreation/​relaxation/​amusement
  2. 2[countable] something pleasant that you do in order to rest, especially after you have been working Fishing is his favourite relaxation.
  3. 3[uncountable, countable, usually singular] the act of making a rule or some form of control less strict or severe the relaxation of foreign currency controls a relaxation of travel restrictions
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting partial remission of a penalty): from Latin relaxatio(n-), from the verb relaxare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + laxus ‘lax, loose’.Extra examples He goes to relaxation classes. She listens to classical music for relaxation. Some people take up yoga to aid relaxation. The government has promised further relaxations in foreign exchange controls. Try listening to a relaxation tape before you go to sleep. a chance for relaxation from work a popular herb known to induce relaxation a relaxation in the rules an environment that promotes physical and mental relaxation an ointment that helps muscle relaxation drugs that cause the relaxation of the muscle I go hillwalking for relaxation. I listen to music for relaxation. It’s a good idea to learn some relaxation techniques.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: relaxation