comic relief

noun

Definition of comic relief

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

Examples of comic relief in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Because their cast apparently didn’t have enough comic relief, the Lakers went ahead and decided to sign Dwight Howard on Friday, according to multiple reports. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "This Has to Be Dwight Howard's Last Chance, Right?," 23 Aug. 2019 The best writers of aphoristic prose—G. K. Chesterton, Clive James—use the aphorism as comic relief on the climb, more than as the summit itself. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Art of Aphorism," 15 July 2019 Greg Thornton is similarly tentative as King Rorik, Gertrude’s doting father, but Mary Stout is a font of go-for-broke comic relief as Herda, the lady’s maid to Gertrude. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Gertrude and Claudius’ casts a different light on ‘Hamlet’ at Barrington Stage," 31 July 2019 But, oddly enough, there’s a weird burst of comic relief in the episode coming from Smithereens head honcho, Billy. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "In Your Heart, You Know What Black Mirror's Billy Bauer & Smithereen Are Based On," 8 June 2019 As written, the role of Benjamin Franklin is the drollest of the show, offering much of the comic relief. nola.com, "Playmakers in Covington presents ‘1776’ with a twist: The cast is mostly women," 26 June 2019 But the latest manifestation gives the show’s literal monster a new voice and a terrible agenda while letting its figurative ones serve as puppets or over-the-top caricatures and comic relief. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Stranger Things season 3 goes full Aliens with its action," 5 July 2019 Best friend and comic relief Ned (Jacob Batalon) is too busy yukking it up with a new love interest with jokes that feel wholly detached from FFH's primary thrust. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Spider-Man: Far from Home," 1 July 2019 Tracee Ellis Ross matches Tyler’s weirdness as the highly neurotic Pearl Edwards, sprinkling comic relief during the song’s love cries. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 20 Best Music Videos of 2019 (So Far): Staff Picks," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comic relief.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of comic relief

1783, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for comic relief

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for comic relief

The first known use of comic relief was in 1783

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with comic relief

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