The mechanical parameters and failure characteristics were obtained based on the results of triaxial unloading tests of limestone. Results show that: The evolution of volumetric strain is determined by lateral strain under unloading condition. Failure modes of rock can be classified into three types. Deformation modulus decreases and Poisson ratio increases in the process of unloading. Mohr-Coulomb criterion can not describe rock unloading failure strength property. Rock burst occur during tunnel excavation are closely related to the rock unloading failure characteristic.