comic relief


: a relief from the emotional tension especially of a drama that is provided by the interposition of a comic episode or element

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Goodwin is the comic relief. Los Angeles Times, 28 Oct. 2022 Our storyline is the comic relief. Nojan Aminosharei, Harper's BAZAAR, 18 Apr. 2023 Nicholas was often called on to punctuate scenes with comic relief. Katie Reul, Variety, 8 Jan. 2023 There was plenty of comic relief. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 27 Feb. 2023 Precise, talkative, but almost never emotional, Tech is often an inadvertent source of comic relief because of his complete inability to relate to anyone on human terms. Lauren Morgan,, 23 Feb. 2023 This comic relief is a welcome diversion from our nation’s issues!, 27 Jan. 2023 For readers ready to chuck this issue out the window upon failing to solve a puzzle, here is some comic relief. The New Yorker, 19 Dec. 2022 Vandiyadevan soon falls in with a religious man, Azhwarkadiyan Nambi (Jayaram), another spy who also provides some comic relief. Shalini Dore, Variety, 13 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'comic relief.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1783, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of comic relief was in 1783

Dictionary Entries Near comic relief

Cite this Entry

“Comic relief.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on comic relief

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