To make lax or loose; to make less close, firm, rigid, tense, or the like; to slacken; to loosen; to open; as, to relax a rope or cord; to relax the muscles or sinews.
To make less severe or rigorous; to abate the stringency of; to remit in respect to strenuousness, earnestness, or effort; as, to relax discipline; to relax one's attention or endeavors.
Hence, to relieve from attention or effort; to ease; to recreate; to divert; as, amusement relaxes the mind.
To relieve from constipation; to loosen; to open; as, an aperient relaxes the bowels.
To rest pastry after rolling out to prevent shrinkage or meats after cooking.
when a muscle becomes longer and thinner. Opposite of contract.
When the muscle is resting (it is not contracted) it is said to be 'relaxed'. It involves a reduction of tension in the muscle.
In pastry-making, this means to set aside the pastry...