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

Alex Claudio relieved Davies with one out in the fifth and allowed Isan Diaz's two-run homer. sun-sentinel.com, "Urena, Marlins sunk in 9th by Moustakas’ 2nd HR of game," 12 Sep. 2019 Lefty Jake McGee relieved Davis and added to the carnage, giving up an RBI single to Andrew Knizner, hitting a batter and balking in a run. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Coors Field turns into launching pad in Rockies loss to Cardinals," 12 Sep. 2019 Hurricane Dorian’s towering waves and detonating surf on Tuesday relieved some of the tedium from the uncertain wait for the powerful storm. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian’s thunderous surf is awesome, fearsome relief to tedium in Brevard County," 3 Sep. 2019 May relieved Stripling in the fourth inning with a two-run cushion seeking to improve on his first shot out of the bullpen. Los Angeles Times, "Joc Pederson’s 11th-inning home run lifts Dodgers over Diamondbacks," 1 Sep. 2019 Tyler Rogers relieved Moronta and completed a walk to Urias before getting Austin Hedges to ground out and preserve the 1-1 tie. SFChronicle.com, "Giants reliever Reyes Moronta leaves game with bad-looking arm injury," 31 Aug. 2019 In a shocking move, the Phillies relieved hitting coach John Mallee from his duties and replaced him with 75-year-old, Charlie Manuel, who was the club's manager from 2005-2013. Scott Boeck, USA TODAY, "Struggling Phillies shake up coaching staff, naming ex-manager Charlie Manuel hitting coach," 14 Aug. 2019 After two more Mets reached against Rodney (0-5), Daniel Hudson relieved. Jake Seiner, courant.com, "Mets work more magic, rally past Nats 4-3 for eighth win in row," 11 Aug. 2019 Smith relieved Buchanan of duty, put him on administrative leave and confiscated his badge, gun and ID. Paul P. Murphy, CNN, "A Birmingham Police officer faked a shooting for 'stolen valor,' his chief says," 2 Aug. 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

8 Oct 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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