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

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 Medical News Today reports that use of certain essential oils show may also relieve congestion. Carmel Kookogey, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Citrus steam cannot kill viruses such as the coronavirus," 26 June 2020 Psychiatrists know a great deal about the mechanism of anxiety and how to relieve it in its classic forms, but their literature has scarcely begun to deal with the brooding mass anxiety and individual insulation against it. Avis D. Carlson, Harper's Magazine, "The Jitters," 23 June 2020 And, as police held off attempts to take down Jackson, various people would retreat from the crowd to relax under the church’s awning, smoke cigarettes, and relieve themselves. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "'Pay!': Protesters demand reparations after claiming church near White House as 'Black House Autonomous Zone'," 23 June 2020 To relieve shoulder and hip pressure from side sleeping, the plush Saatva is the softest option and perfect for cradling these major joints. Mandie Kelleher, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Best Mattresses for Back Pain to Help You Sleep Easy," 19 June 2020 While the gang was reuniting in Miami, Snooki returned from a night out with a full bladder and decided to relieve herself in the swimming pool. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "The party's leaving: Snooki's snookiest Jersey Shore moments," 18 June 2020 Military officials assumed that removing men from combat situations or treating them with injections of drugs such as sodium amytal would relieve their psychiatric distress. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How PTSD went from ‘shell-shock’ to a recognized medical diagnosis," 16 June 2020 Dexamethasone is a generic, low-cost corticosteroid that’s used to relieve inflammation. Korin Miller, Health.com, "What is Dexamethasone? New Study Says Steroid Can Reduce Risk of Death in Sickest COVID-19 Patients," 16 June 2020 The coroner’s investigator documented that over the course of a day, the ER gave him four small doses of lorazepam, a sedative that hospitals often use to relieve anxiety, and zyprexa, an antipsychotic medication. Thalia Beaty, ProPublica, "Somebody’s Gotta Help Me”," 16 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for relieve

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for relieve

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relieve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relieve. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for relieve

relieve

verb
How to pronounce relieve (audio)

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
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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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for relieve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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