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 This relieves pressure on the heart and arteries, and bonus, helps with de-bloat. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "8 Health Benefits of Peaches," 7 Aug. 2019 Cesar Sayoc, 57, wept and crossed himself, appearing relieved, when U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff announced the sentence. CBS News, "Amateur body builder who sent pipe bombs to prominent Democrats is sentenced to 20 years," 5 Aug. 2019 Such an agreement would relieve pressure from companies that do business or buy supplies from China—such as semiconductor companies and certain retailers. Corrie Driebusch, WSJ, "S&P 500 Posts Best First Half in 22 Years," 28 June 2019 When Yassin accidentally falls into a pit in one of the caves at Petra, rather than helping him out, Tareq relieves himself into the pit while his cronies laugh. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Teenagers must ward off mischievous supernatural beings in Jinn," 23 June 2019 But there’s now little cushion in the market with the major disruption caused by the drone attacks, which could force the president and his team to look for ways to relieve the pressure. Jordan Fabian, Fortune, "After Saudi Oil Attack, Trump Pledges Help for Middle East Allies," 16 Sep. 2019 An operation to relieve the pressure left him with a scar running the whole back of his head. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Challenges Remain For Jewett City 4-Year-Old," 16 Sep. 2019 This is why swallowing during take-off or landing on a plane can relieve painful pressure in the ears. The Economist, "Neanderthals had a propensity for earache, nudging them to their doom," 12 Sep. 2019 That is seemingly where the gossip concerning Nice talent Youcef Atal comes in, although an attacking right back is hardly likely to relieve the growing pressure at centre back. SI.com, "Chelsea Eye January Move for Nice Defender Youcef Atal if Transfer Ban Is Reduced," 11 Sep. 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

5 Nov 2019

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
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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