verb (used with object), re·lieved, re·liev·ing.

verb (used without object), re·lieved, re·liev·ing.

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

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 for relieve

Synonym study

1. 2. 3. See comfort.

Antonyms for relieve Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relieved

Contemporary Examples of relieved

Historical Examples of relieved

  • The deep gloom that had overshadowed the land had been relieved by one single ray.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • I made every effort to get relieved from this odious work, but without avail.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • In a little while he was relieved, her eyelids began to tremble.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • "I will manage it," said Dr. Everett, speaking in a quick, relieved tone.

  • Yet there was a set of the mouth and a prominence of the chin which relieved him of any trace of effeminacy.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for relieved



(postpositive; often foll by at, about, etc) experiencing relief, esp from worry or anxiety
mechanical engineering having part of the surface cut away to avoid friction or wear


verb (tr)

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
Derived Formsrelievable, adjective

Word Origin for relieve

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 relieved



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

Medicine definitions for relieved




To cause a lessening or alleviation of something, such as pain, tension, or a symptom.
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.