relieve


re·lieve

verb \ri-ˈlēv\

: to reduce or remove (something, such as pain or an unpleasant feeling)

: to make (a problem) less serious

: to take the place of (someone who has been working, fighting, etc.)

re·lievedre·liev·ing

Full Definition of RELIEVE

transitive verb
1
a :  to free from a burden :  give aid or help to
b :  to set free from an obligation, condition, or restriction
c :  to ease of a burden, wrong, or oppression by judicial or legislative interposition
2
a :  to bring about the removal or alleviation of :  mitigate <helps relieve stress>
b :  rob, deprive <relieved us of our belongings>
3
a :  to release from a post, station, or duty
b :  to take the place of <will relieve the starting pitcher>
4
:  to remove or lessen the monotony of <a park relieves the urban landscape>
5
a :  to set off by contrast
b :  to raise in relief
6
:  to discharge the bladder or bowels of (oneself)
intransitive verb
1
:  to bring or give relief
2
:  to stand out in relief
3
:  to serve as a relief pitcher
re·liev·able \-ˈlē-və-bəl\ adjective

Examples of RELIEVE

  1. I took a pill to relieve my headache.
  2. I wish I could relieve your suffering.
  3. What's the best way to relieve stress?
  4. She tried to relieve the tension by making a joke.
  5. an effort to relieve traffic congestion
  6. We need to find ways to relieve overcrowding in our schools.
  7. I've come to relieve the guard on duty.
  8. The soldiers were relieved by 30,000 fresh troops.

Origin of RELIEVE

Middle English releven, from Anglo-French relever to raise, relieve, from Latin relevare, from re- + levare to raise — more at lever
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of RELIEVE

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable <took an aspirin to relieve the pain>. alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress <the lotion alleviated the itching>. lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight <good news would lighten our worries>. assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable <ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat>. mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful <the need to mitigate barbaric laws>. allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms <allayed their fears>.

re·lieve

transitive verb \ri-ˈlēv\   (Medical Dictionary)
re·lievedre·liev·ing

Medical Definition of RELIEVE

1
: to bring about the removal or alleviation of (pain or discomfort)
2
: to discharge the bladder or bowels of (oneself)
re·liev·er noun

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: relieved
Previous Word in the Dictionary: relies
All Words Near: relieve

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up relieve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).