relieve

verb
re·​lieve | \ ri-ˈlēv How to pronounce relieve (audio) \
relieved; relieving

Definition of relieve

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : to bring about the removal or alleviation of : mitigate helps relieve stress
b : rob, deprive relieved us of our belongings
3a : 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
5a : 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

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Other Words from relieve

relievable \ ri-​ˈlē-​və-​bəl How to pronounce relievable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for relieve

Synonyms

allay, alleviate, assuage, ease, help, mitigate, mollify, palliate, soothe

Antonyms

aggravate, exacerbate

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of relieve in a Sentence

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

Houston found space to relieve Harden because of Paul and Gordon. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Why the Pairing of Russell Westbrook and James Harden Won’t Be a Simple Fit," 12 July 2019 Thae understood that this was the result of natural disasters, and that the leader, Kim Jong-il, was doing everything possible to relieve the problem. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "The Incredible Guts of Thae Yong-ho," 8 July 2019 Bower said taking a vacation or meditating are good ways to relieve stress. Rose Meily, The Mercury News, "Ways to de-stress and stay on top of the Bay Area Real estate game," 5 July 2019 As student debt continues to rise, borrowers often are desperate to find some way, any way, to relieve the burden. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "The Red Flags for Student-Loan Scams," 4 July 2019 Needville Independent School District trustees are considering options after a demographic report presented at the June 19 board meeting included the necessity for a new junior high to relieve projected overcrowding just around the corner. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Demographic report tells Needville ISD of growth ahead," 30 June 2019 The entire transfer issue that has roiled college sports over the last year is stuck in a morass of waiver request red tape and unnecessary paperwork, and nothing the NCAA did Wednesday is going to relieve that headache. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Time for NCAA to give football, basketball players one-time pass to transfer," 26 June 2019 Programs like this are meant to be a low-barrier way to relieve some of the pernicious anxiety that appears to be a concern in workforces everywhere, and is thought to be a particular problem with millennials. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Google is running an employee mental health project without any metrics," 25 June 2019 To put it simply, hypnotherapy helps readjust one’s thinking to relieve pain and reduce anxiety. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "Can Hypnotherapy Actually Help Treat Pain and Anxiety?," 21 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for relieve

Middle English releven, from Anglo-French relever to raise, relieve, from Latin relevare, from re- + levare to raise — more at lever

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Statistics for relieve

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relieve

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

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More Definitions for relieve

relieve

verb

English Language Learners Definition of relieve

: 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.)

relieve

verb
re·​lieve | \ ri-ˈlēv How to pronounce relieve (audio) \
relieved; relieving

Kids Definition of relieve

1 : to free partly or wholly from a burden, pain, or distress The phone call relieved the worried parents.
2 : to bring about the removal or lessening of No words could relieve her sorrow.
3 : to release from a post or duty relieve a sentry
4 : to break the sameness of The dark red house was relieved by white trim.

Other Words from relieve

reliever noun

relieve

transitive verb
re·​lieve | \ ri-ˈlēv How to pronounce relieve (audio) \
relieved; relieving

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)

Other Words from relieve

reliever noun

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relieve

transitive verb
re·​lieve
relieved; relieving

Legal Definition of relieve

: to set free from a duty, burden, or liability cannot be relieved of his negligence the trust cannot relieve the trustees of those very basic duties that the law imposesHosey v. Burgess, 890 S.W.2d 262 (1995)

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More from Merriam-Webster on relieve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with relieve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for relieve

Spanish Central: Translation of relieve

Nglish: Translation of relieve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of relieve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on relieve

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