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

Starting at $1,299 (twin) to $2,199 (California King), its design features layers of New Zealand wool, organic cotton, and steel coils, all tufted together for an ergonomic sleep focused on relieving pressure points on the body. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "7 New Online Mattress Companies That Want To Sweeten Your Dreams," 15 Feb. 2019 An agreement in principle among U.S. lawmakers late Monday that would avoid another partial government shutdown later this week relieved one source of anxiety for investors. David Hodari, WSJ, "Copper Down as Global Issues Weigh," 12 Feb. 2019 Nature can help soothe depression and anxiety and relieve stress all on its own. Jill Gleeson, Good Housekeeping, "I Don’t Need Meditation Apps. I Need Real, Genuine Solitude.," 14 Jan. 2019 This relieving bit of insight comes to us from a paper published this past year in the journal Psychological Science. Julia Belluz, Vox, "7 bad science and health ideas that should die with 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Elizabeth started hearing about the anxiety-relieving benefits of marijuana and learned about different strains of the plant, like sativa and indica. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Government bans on pot research have created room for marijuana health hype," 6 Nov. 2018 The government has said the tuition-free boarding schools relieve parents of education and living expenses and help raise Mandarin standards, which will make their children more employable. Yanan Wang And Dake Kang, Fox News, "China distances children from families to subdue Muslim west," 20 Sep. 2018 Hartford’s city council also voted in favor of a tax agreement that relieves Crop One Holdings of all real estate taxes accumulated by improving the property during its first five years. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Hartford Council Approves Sale Of Blighted North End Property, Tax Agreement For Hydroponics Company," 10 July 2018 Lawrence finished the game 27-39 for 327 yards with three touchdowns, before he was relieved by Chase Brice late in the fourth quarter. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, "Clemson Wins Cotton Bowl to Advance to National Championship Game," 30 Dec. 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

12 Mar 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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