relieve
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ɹɪˈliːv/
Verb

relieve (relieves, present participle relieving; past and past participle relieved)

  1. (transitive) To ease (a person, person's thoughts etc.) from mental distress; to stop (someone) feeling anxious or worried, to alleviate the distress of. [from 14th c.]
    I was greatly relieved by the jury's verdict.
  2. (transitive) To ease (someone, a part of the body etc.) or give relief from physical pain or discomfort. [from 14th c.]
  3. (transitive) To alleviate (pain, distress, mental discomfort etc.). [from 14th c.]
  4. (transitive) To provide comfort or assistance to (someone in need, especially in poverty). [from 14th c.]
  5. (obsolete) To lift up; to raise again. [15th-17th c.]
  6. (now rare) To raise (someone) out of danger or from (a specified difficulty etc.). [from 15th c.]
  7. (legal) To free (someone) from debt or legal obligations; to give legal relief to. [from 15th c.]
    This shall not relieve either Party of any obligations.
  8. To bring military help to (a besieged town); to lift the siege on. [from 16th c.]
  9. To release (someone) from or of a difficulty, unwanted task, responsibility etc. [from 16th c.]
  10. (military, job) To free (someone) from their post, task etc. by taking their place. [from 16th c.]
  11. (now rare) To make (something) stand out; to make prominent, bring into relief. [from 18th c.]
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan (Byron), III.76:
      The henna should be deeply dyed to make / The skin relieved appear more fairly fair […]
    • 1927, Countee Cullen, From the Dark Tower:
      The night whose sable breast relieves the stark / White stars is no less lovely being dark
  12. (reflexive) To go to the toilet; to defecate or urinate. [from 20th c.]
Synonyms
  • (to alleviate pain, ease) liss
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