an amusing scene, incident, or speech introduced into serious or tragic elements, as in a play, in order to provide temporary relief from tension, or to intensify the dramatic action.
relief from tension caused by the introduction or occurrence of a comic element, as by an amusing human foible.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use comic relief in a sentence
To many Americans, the kerfuffle provided comic relief during a time when most things weren’t funny.The fallout over Clear Channel’s (possibly apocryphal) do-not-play list lasted well past 9/11 | Allison Stewart | October 8, 2021 | Washington Post
Sorensen decided the best way to cast the legal developments into sharp comic relief was to render a bit of role reversal.How cartoonists are taking on the Texas abortion law | Michael Cavna | September 10, 2021 | Washington Post
Full of fluffy banter and comic relief, it’s a great place to start if you’re looking for a crash course on video games.
Ozick simultaneously builds suspense and provides comic relief by having the absent-minded Petrie repeatedly begin to spill the beans, then suddenly meander away to another topic.With ‘Antiquities,’ Cynthia Ozick is as vibrant on the page as ever | Diane Cole | April 16, 2021 | Washington Post
It’s perfect for long car rides or anytime you need some comic relief in these strange times.
And, every election, we have our quasi-comic-relief candidates, your Al Haigs and Gary Bauers and Bill Richardsons.
But rather than scare people out of their wits, they served as a moment of much-needed comic relief for many.Israel, Hamas, WhatsApp and Hacked Phones in the Gaza Psy-War | Itay Hod | July 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Yang was intelligent, ambitious, competitive, and often the source of much-needed comic relief.
I saw him as part of the comic relief of the show—and they kind of needed it in the beginning, before Saul Goodman appeared.Dean Norris Deconstructs “Breaking Bad’s” Hank Schrader | Andrew Romano | September 2, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The show had moved to MTV in 1996, where his co-host, wise-cracking Adam Corolla, played the comic relief.Feds Allege Glaxo Paid Dr. Drew $275,000 to Tout Antidepressant | Aram Roston | July 3, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The horror and suspense had been so great that when it broke with comic relief the house was really hysterical.The Iron Puddler | James J. Davis
The promoters of the meeting owe Lefebvre a debt of gratitude, for he provided just the necessary comic relief.'A History of Aeronautics | E. Charles Vivian
It was well said of him that he "gave to the sad and solemn White House the only comic relief it knew."The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln | Francis Fisher Browne
The part of Martha is extended, in order that his red livery may have its full "comic relief."Plays, Acting and Music | Arthur Symons
The feelings of the audience having been sufficiently harrowed, the comic relief was turned on.Mrs. Craddock | W. Somerset Maugham