comic relief


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 Yes, the fly that landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head during the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7 provided a minute or two of comic relief in this year’s unprecedented news cycle and tumultuous election season. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "Halloween costumes we won't miss this year amid the pandemic, protests for racial justice," 19 Oct. 2020 Not only has TikTok provided us with hours of dancing, DIYs and comic relief, but at a time when many of our favorite shows are on indefinite hiatus, it's given us tons of drama, too. Kori Williams, Seventeen, "These Major TikTok Feuds Took Over the Internet," 9 Oct. 2020 Some pathways lead to tender meditations on these taxing times; others provide delightfully droll comic relief. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, "Woolly Mammoth’s ‘Human Resources’ sendup pushes the right buttons," 6 Oct. 2020 Abbie and Jerry, who teaches people how to make Molotov cocktails and cherry bombs, are the resident comic relief, though there’s a depth and passion to their righteous cause that are all Cohen and Strong. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: Aaron Sorkin's 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' packs its courtroom with stellar cast," 25 Sep. 2020 But according to Sterns, their presence off the field gives the team some needed comic relief at times. Dallas News, "Positionless lineman Derek Kerstetter says he’s enjoying move to Longhorns center," 22 Sep. 2020 The Italians are led, however ineptly, by Josto Fadda (Jason Schwartzman, playing the part with something between a kind of openhearted goofiness and pure comic relief). Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "The Chris Rock season of 'Fargo' is so all over the place, you'll want a map," 27 Sep. 2019 Social media has amplified his platform, as Noah has brought an element of comic relief while also channeling grief over racial injustice in viral YouTube videos. WSJ, "Editor in Chief Kristina O’Neill on The September Men’s Style Issue," 18 Sep. 2020 Josto’s a comic relief goon with only bad one-liners, delivered by Schwartzman with anachronistic snark. Darren Franich,, "Fargo season 4 has a lot of nothing to say about America: Review," 14 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for comic relief

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The first known use of comic relief was in 1783

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Statistics for comic relief

Last Updated

27 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Comic relief.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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