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The first phrase that came to my mind was "to let of".

Example sentence:

Letting go of his pendant, Tom got up from the bed and stood in front of me.

I'm not sure, though, if "letting go of" is an ambiguous phrase. I'm looking for a word/phrase that means to "unhold" and that can't be mistaken with "letting fall". So in the example, Tom isn't letting the pendant fall onto the floor, but just letting it go back to its original hanging position.

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    This example is unclear: why wouldn't the pendant drop? 'Putting down' might work better. Free objects one lets go of normally drop; handrails etc one lets go of stay in place. Context disambiguates. 'Let go of' is far more idiomatic than 'release' in most contexts. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 31 '15 at 9:52
  • Is he wearing the pendant? Some context would probably aid in the answering of this question. – Jasper Locke Oct 31 '15 at 10:22
  • Is Tom actually wearing this necklace...it could be! Is he admiring the pendent that is being worn by a girl? Is the necklace draped over something? Is it lying in a jewellery box? Where is this pendent?! – Mari-Lou A Oct 31 '15 at 12:06
  • I really don't think "letting go " is ambiguous - your sentence is fine (I'm assuming you described Tom taking hold of the pendant in the first place, and where it was hanging). – JHCL Nov 2 '15 at 11:28
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The word is "release." Please look it up.

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    I wouldn't use 'release' in the example sentence; it's very formal at best. Idiomatic would be 'Letting go of'; this example is unclear, though, and 'Putting down' might work better. Free objects one lets go of normally drop; handrails etc one lets go of stay in place. Context disambiguates. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 31 '15 at 9:50

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