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

In the meantime, reducing ear pressure comes down to relieving congestion and swelling in areas like the nose and throat to open up those Eustachian tubes. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Here’s How to Get Relief From Ear Pressure When You’re Sick," 9 Apr. 2019 Even on days when you're not desperately turned on, making time for masturbation has lots of benefits, from helping you explore your sexuality to relieving stress and even improving your health. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "The Best 7 Masturbation Tips to Get You Super Turned On When You're Solo," 23 Mar. 2019 Online reviewers raved that the warm microfiber cover kept them from having to crank the heat during cold winter months on top of relieving their stress and anxiety. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "The 5 Best Weighted Blankets to Help You Get the Best Sleep of Your Life," 21 Nov. 2018 Ryan views the shift toward retail augmentation less about relentless efficiency, and more about relieving employees of boring, burdensome, rote work while giving them the tools and confidence to have better interactions with customers. Patrick Sisson, Vox, "In Walmart’s virtual reality simulation, Black Friday never ends," 15 Nov. 2018 One study done by the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences found ginger to be as effective as ibuprofen for relieving menstrual cramps. Kara Wahlgren, Seventeen, "8 Ways to Make Your Cramps Suck Less," 6 Sep. 2018 The chief financial officer and director of communications were paid about six figures each during that time, after being relieved of duty with pay. Bianca Padró Ocasio, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orange County employees collected checks for months without working: report," 24 May 2018 Besides a new look and feel, this mattress could help relieve back pain. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "Everything to Know Before Buying the Tempur-Pedic LuxeAdapt Mattress," 1 Feb. 2019 These hypoallergenic, disposable earplugs naturally filter and regulate air pressure, which should help relieve discomfort. Brian Sumers, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Pop Your Ears on a Plane—And Why They Pop, Anyway," 10 Sep. 2018

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

7 May 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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