relief

noun
re·​lief | \ ri-ˈlēf How to pronounce relief (audio) \

Definition of relief

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a payment made by a male feudal tenant to his lord on succeeding to an inherited estate
2a : removal or lightening of something oppressive, painful, or distressing
c : military assistance to an endangered post or force
d : means of breaking or avoiding monotony or boredom : diversion
3 : release from a post or from the performance of duty
4 : one that takes the place of another on duty
5 : legal remedy or redress
6 [French, from Middle French, from Italian rilievo relievo]
a : a mode of sculpture in which forms and figures are distinguished from a surrounding plane surface
b : sculpture or a sculptural form executed in this mode
c : projecting detail, ornament, or figures
7a : sharpness of outline due to contrast a roof in bold relief against the sky
b : the state of being distinguished by contrast throws the two opinions into bold relief
8 : the elevations or inequalities of a land surface
9 : the pitching done by a relief pitcher two innings of hitless relief

relief

adjective

Definition of relief (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : providing relief
2 : characterized by surface inequalities
3 : of or used in letterpress

Illustration of relief

Illustration of relief

Noun

relief 6b

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms for relief

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of relief in a Sentence

Noun I felt such a sense of relief after I finished my thesis. He expressed relief that the crisis was finally over. Much to everyone's relief, the airplane took off without any problems. What a relief it is to be back home. Exercise is an excellent source of stress relief. Both candidates promised tax relief for middle-class families. Countries from around the world have been sending relief to the flood victims. We donated to the relief effort for the hurricane victims. My father lost his job and we had to go on relief.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The two-time Masters winner finished his first nine with a sigh-of-relief flourish, but the same could not be said for the start of his second nine. Brian Stensaas, Star Tribune, 22 July 2021 And the feeling of relief because, no need to tell you, the road to this opening ceremony was not the easiest one. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 July 2021 The central bank continues to snap up bonds at a rate of €80 billion ($94 billion) a month in the name of pandemic relief, with total purchases of €1.85 trillion ($2.2 trillion) authorized under the program. Charles Riley, CNN, 22 July 2021 Last night in Bowie, Cody Sedlock was impressive until things went sideways, then Blaine Knight dominated in four innings of relief. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, 21 July 2021 Yet for parents of children under the age of 12, who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, there is still no collective sigh of relief. Judy Martin, Quartz, 21 July 2021 There is a certain amount of relief to be found in sentiments like this. Will Stephenson, Harper's Magazine, 20 July 2021 In 2000, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a small but notable piece of tax relief: a state deduction on charitable donations, something the vast majority of states already offered. BostonGlobe.com, 17 July 2021 Part of the country is breathing a sigh of relief; part is holding its breath. New York Times, 17 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The anti-relief faction, with its sudden warnings about deficits, is eager to revive the Tea Party spirit, and its would-be leaders are ur-Tea Partyers like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Ross Douthat New York Times, Star Tribune, 4 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 relief

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for relief

Noun

Middle English relef, relief, from Anglo-French, from relever to relieve

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Time Traveler for relief

Time Traveler

The first known use of relief was in the 14th century

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Statistics for relief

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Relief.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relief. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for relief

relief

noun

English Language Learners Definition of relief

: a pleasant and relaxed feeling that someone has when something unpleasant stops or does not happen
: the removal or reducing of something that is painful or unpleasant
: things (such as food, money, or medicine) that are given to help people who are victims of a war, earthquake, flood, etc.

relief

noun
re·​lief | \ ri-ˈlēf How to pronounce relief (audio) \

Kids Definition of relief

1 : the feeling of happiness that occurs when something unpleasant or distressing stops or does not happen What a relief to be home safe.
2 : removal or lessening of something painful or troubling I need relief from this headache.
3 : something that interrupts in a welcome way The rain was a relief from dry weather.
4 : release from a post or from performance of a duty relief of a guard
6 : a sculpture in which figures or designs are raised from a background
7 : elevations of a land surface The map shows relief.

relief

noun
re·​lief | \ ri-ˈlēf How to pronounce relief (audio) \

Medical Definition of relief

: removal or lightening of something oppressive or distressing relief of pain symptomatic relief

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relief

noun
re·​lief

Legal Definition of relief

: redress, assistance, or protection given by law especially from a court should state what relief the plaintiff seeks : as
a : release from obligation or duty relief from judgment
b : an order from a court granting a particular remedy (as return of property) injunctive relief declaratory relief — see also remedy

More from Merriam-Webster on relief

Nglish: Translation of relief for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of relief for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about relief

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