- to ease or alleviate (pain, distress, anxiety, need, etc.).
- to free from anxiety, fear, pain, etc.
- to free from need, poverty, etc.
- to bring effective aid to (a besieged town, military position, etc.).
- to ease (a person) of any burden, wrong, or oppression, as by legal means.
- 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.
- to make less tedious, unpleasant, or monotonous; break or vary the sameness of: curtains to relieve the drabness of the room.
- to bring into relief or prominence; heighten the effect of.
- to release (one on duty) by coming as or providing a substitute or replacement.
- to free (a closed space, as a tank, boiler, etc.) of more than a desirable pressure or vacuum.
- to reduce (the pressure or vacuum in such a space) to a desirable level.
- Baseball. to replace (a pitcher).
- Baseball. to act as a relief pitcher: He relieved in 52 games for the Pirates last season.
- to relieve oneself, to urinate or defecate.
Origin of relieve
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsmitigate, subdue, relax, ease, comfort, free, soothe, cure, calm, alleviate, diminish, allay, assuage, assist, absolve, appease, console, solace, palliate, lighten
Examples from the Web for relieve
“Seth kept the team together, but his constant need to relieve himself kept the team down,” says the announcer.James Franco and Seth Rogen Get ‘Naked and Afraid’… And It’s Hilarious
December 8, 2014
Women have become more professional and independent, so a lot of them are looking at role revisal to relieve similar tensions.Whip It: Secrets of a Dominatrix
November 25, 2014
Adam Kawalek went from Los Angeles to Gaza to try to relieve the suffering of the sick and wounded there.A Gay Jewish Zionist American Doctor in Gaza and What He Saw
September 22, 2014
However, medications and therapies have been developed to relieve symptoms significantly.The Burden Robin Williams Carried: Diagnosed With Parkinson’s and Depression
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Tej Azad
August 15, 2014
The cramping muscle should be carefully stretched and massaged to relieve pain.A Lesson From LeBron James’ Game One Nightmare
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Tej Azad
June 7, 2014
But, to relieve your mind, nothing at all has really happened.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
It seemed to relieve the tension drawn by the other woman's torment.Within the Law
And if he turned his eyes to his own camp, he saw little to relieve his anxiety.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
"It's over the pulling of Lucretia," a man said, simply to relieve his strained feelings.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
But the bitterness which he put into it failed to relieve him of any of the bitterness that was in his own mind.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
- to bring alleviation of (pain, distress, etc) to (someone)
- to bring aid or assistance to (someone in need, a disaster area, etc)
- to take over the duties or watch of (someone)
- to bring aid or a relieving force to (a besieged town, city, etc)
- to free (someone) from an obligation
- to make (something) less unpleasant, arduous, or monotonous
- to bring into relief or prominence, as by contrast
- (foll by of) informal to take fromthe thief relieved him of his watch
- relieve oneself to urinate or defecate
Word Origin and History for relieve
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.
- To cause a lessening or alleviation of something, such as pain, tension, or a symptom.
- To free an individual from pain, anxiety, or distress.