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 Both men were relieved of duty after the shooting and later retired. Washington Post, "Ex-Houston cop charged in raid accused in old drug case," 10 Jan. 2020 But for Forky, that’s where his interest piques – luckily, the tale ends with Rib being relieved. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "All of the questions Forky has asked on Forky Asks a Question," 10 Jan. 2020 Garrett, 53, was officially relieved of his duties Sunday, 24 hours after McCarthy had interviewed with team officials. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Cowboys ignore pleas for young, innovative minds, opt for NFL veteran Mike McCarthy as new HC," 6 Jan. 2020 The executives at McDonald’s must have been relieved. BostonGlobe.com, "The perfect gift for the harried commuter in your life:," 26 Dec. 2019 In 1944: During the World War II Battle of the Bulge, the embattled U.S. 101st Airborne Division in Bastogne, Belgium, was relieved by units of the 4th Armored Division. oregonlive, "Throat swab leads to $28,865 medical bill: Morning Briefing for Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019," 26 Dec. 2019 At the office's request, the police department agreed to strip Williams of his police powers and the second officer was relieved of police duties. CBS News, ""I could have been killed": Man body-slammed by Chicago cop says he wasn't resisting arrest," 18 Dec. 2019 All 19 have been relieved of patrol duty as the FBI investigates what happened and experts question whether police handled the situation in an appropriate manner, the paper reported Friday. Fox News, "South Florida cops in shootout that killed UPS driver, 3 others placed on administrative leave: reports," 7 Dec. 2019 Third Judicial Circuit Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce was relieved by an order signed by Circuit Judge John Fogleman on Wednesday, according to a copy of the document provided by the circuit clerk's office. John Moritz, Arkansas Online, "Prosecutor in death of former state senator asks departure; trial of woman sees another turn," 7 Dec. 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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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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relieve.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relieve?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=reliev01. Accessed 20 January 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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