Definition - Transitive Verb
1 a  : to relieve or free from obligation, liability, or responsibility <the debtor is released from all dischargeable debts>
b  : to give up (a claim, title, or right) to the benefit of another person
: See also surrender
2  : to set free from confinement <was released on personal recognizance>

Definition - Noun
1 a  : discharge from an obligation or responsibility that bars a cause of action <did not effect a ~ of the school for any negligence>
b  : the giving up or renunciation of a right or claim that bars a cause of action <was a ~ of the remainder of the debt>
A release may in some situations require consideration in order to be valid. A release of one joint obligor sometimes is considered to release all the obligors.
2  : an act or instrument that effects a release <signed a ~ issued by the insurer>
compare hold harmless
3  : the act or instance of freeing esp. from custody

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Based on Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©2001.
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.