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relieve

[ri-leev]
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verb (used with object), re·lieved, re·liev·ing.
  1. to ease or alleviate (pain, distress, anxiety, need, etc.).
  2. to free from anxiety, fear, pain, etc.
  3. to free from need, poverty, etc.
  4. to bring effective aid to (a besieged town, military position, etc.).
  5. to ease (a person) of any burden, wrong, or oppression, as by legal means.
  6. to reduce (a pressure, load, weight, etc., on a device or object under stress): to relieve the steam pressure; to relieve the stress on the supporting walls.
  7. to make less tedious, unpleasant, or monotonous; break or vary the sameness of: curtains to relieve the drabness of the room.
  8. to bring into relief or prominence; heighten the effect of.
  9. to release (one on duty) by coming as or providing a substitute or replacement.
  10. Machinery.
    1. to free (a closed space, as a tank, boiler, etc.) of more than a desirable pressure or vacuum.
    2. to reduce (the pressure or vacuum in such a space) to a desirable level.
  11. Baseball. to replace (a pitcher).
verb (used without object), re·lieved, re·liev·ing.
  1. Baseball. to act as a relief pitcher: He relieved in 52 games for the Pirates last season.
Idioms
  1. to relieve oneself, to urinate or defecate.

Origin of relieve

1300–50; Middle English releven < Middle French relever to raise < Latin relevāre to reduce the load of, lighten, equivalent to re- re- + levāre to raise, derivative of levis light in weight
Related formsre·liev·a·ble, adjectivere·liev·ed·ly [ri-lee-vid-lee] /rɪˈli vɪd li/, adverbnon·re·liev·ing, adjectivequa·si-re·lieved, adjectiveun·re·liev·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·lieved, adjectiveun·re·liev·ed·ly, adverbun·re·liev·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. mitigate, assuage, allay, lighten, lessen, abate, diminish. 3. support, sustain. 4. aid, help, assist, succor.

Synonym study

1. 2. 3. See comfort.

Antonyms

1. intensify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unrelieved

Historical Examples

  • And still there was no ray, nothing but unrelieved blackness.

    Pirates of the Gorm

    Nat Schachner

  • She was dressed in white muslin, unrelieved by ornament or any suggestion of colour.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • The sky was unrelieved by any further flashes of light for many minutes.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • It was a toilsome and dreary march, unrelieved by aught to lessen the fatigue.

    Arthur O'Leary

    Charles James Lever

  • Ten years of it—ten years of dogged work and unrelieved failure.


British Dictionary definitions for unrelieved

relieve

verb (tr)
  1. to bring alleviation of (pain, distress, etc) to (someone)
  2. to bring aid or assistance to (someone in need, a disaster area, etc)
  3. to take over the duties or watch of (someone)
  4. to bring aid or a relieving force to (a besieged town, city, etc)
  5. to free (someone) from an obligation
  6. to make (something) less unpleasant, arduous, or monotonous
  7. to bring into relief or prominence, as by contrast
  8. (foll by of) informal to take fromthe thief relieved him of his watch
  9. relieve oneself to urinate or defecate
Derived Formsrelievable, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old French relever, from Latin relevāre to lift up, relieve, from re- + levāre to lighten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for unrelieved

relieve

v.

late 14c., "alleviate (pain, etc.), mitigate; afford comfort; allow respite; diminish the pressure of," also "give alms to, provide for;" also figuratively, "take heart, cheer up;" from Old French relever "to raise, relieve" (11c.) and directly from Latin relevare "to raise, alleviate, lift up, free from a burden," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + levare "to lift up, lighten," from levis "not heavy" (see lever).

The notion is "to raise (someone) out of trouble." From c.1400 as "advance to the rescue in battle;" also "return from battle; recall (troops)." Meaning "release from duty" is from early 15c. Related: relieved; relieving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unrelieved in Medicine

relieve

(rĭ-lēv)
v.
  1. To cause a lessening or alleviation of something, such as pain, tension, or a symptom.
  2. To free an individual from pain, anxiety, or distress.
Related formsre•lieva•ble adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.