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tr.v. re·lieved, re·liev·ing, re·lieves
a. To cause a lessening or alleviation of: relieved all his symptoms; relieved the tension.
b. To make less tedious, monotonous, or unpleasant: Only one small candle relieved the gloom.
2. To free from pain, anxiety, or distress: I was relieved by the news that they had arrived home safely.
a. To furnish assistance or aid to: relieve the flooded region.
b. To rescue from siege.
a. To release (a person) from an obligation, restriction, or burden.
b. To free from a specified duty by providing or acting as a substitute.
c. Baseball To enter the game as a relief pitcher after (another pitcher).
5. Informal To rob or deprive: Pickpockets relieved him of his money.
6. Archaic To make prominent or effective by contrast; set off.
relieve (oneself)
To urinate or defecate.

[Middle English releven, from Old French relever, from Latin relevāre : re-, re- + levāre, to raise; see legwh- in Indo-European roots.]

re·liev′a·ble adj.
Synonyms: relieve, allay, alleviate, assuage, lighten2, mitigate, palliate
These verbs mean to make something less severe or more bearable. To relieve is to make more endurable something causing discomfort or distress: "that misery which he strives in vain to relieve" (Henry David Thoreau).
Allay suggests at least temporary relief from what is burdensome or painful: "This music crept by me upon the waters, / Allaying both their fury and my passion / With its sweet air" (Shakespeare).
Alleviate connotes temporary lessening of distress without removal of its cause: "No arguments shall be wanting on my part that can alleviate so severe a misfortune" (Jane Austen).
To assuage is to soothe or make milder: assuaged his guilt by confessing to the crime. Lighten signifies to make less heavy or oppressive: legislation that would lighten the taxpayer's burden. Mitigate and palliate connote moderating the force or intensity of something that causes suffering: "I ... prayed to the Lord to mitigate a calamity" (John Galt)."Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing" (Ernest Hemingway).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (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. (Military) 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 from: the thief relieved him of his watch.
9. relieve oneself to urinate or defecate
[C14: from Old French relever, from Latin relevāre to lift up, relieve, from re- + levāre to lighten]
reˈlievable adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v. -lieved, -liev•ing. v.t.
1. to ease or alleviate (pain, distress, anxiety, need, etc.); mitigate; allay.
2. to free from anxiety, fear, pain, etc.
3. to free from need or poverty.
4. to bring effective aid to (a besieged town, military position, etc.).
5. to ease (a person) of a burden, wrong, or oppression.
6. to reduce (a pressure, load, weight, etc., on a device or object under stress).
7. to make less tedious, unpleasant, or monotonous: Curtains relieved the drabness of the room.
8. to bring into relief or prominence; heighten the effect of.
9. to release (a person on duty) by coming as or providing a substitute or replacement.
10. to replace (a baseball pitcher).
11. to release from an obligation or position: to be relieved of one's post.
12. Informal. to take something from; rob (usu. fol. by of): The thief relieved me of my wallet.
13. to act as a relief pitcher.
relieve oneself, to urinate or defecate.
[1300–50; Middle English releven < Middle French relever to raise < Latin relevāre to reduce the load of, lighten =re- re- + levāre to raise, derivative of levis light in weight]
re•liev′a•ble, adj.
re•liev′ed•ly, adv.
re•liev′er, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


- Metaphorically, to "alleviate, lighten," from Latin relevare, "raise again."
See also related terms for metaphor.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'relieve'

Relieve /rɪ'liːv/ is a verb. If something relieves an unpleasant feeling, it makes it less unpleasant.

Anxiety may be relieved by talking to a friend.
The passengers in the plane swallow to relieve the pressure on their eardrums.

If someone or something relieves you of an unpleasant feeling or difficulty, you no longer have it.

The news relieved him of some of his embarrassment.

Relieve is often used in the passive structure be relieved. If you are relieved, you feel happy because something unpleasant has stopped or has not happened.

I was relieved when Hannah finally arrived.

Be relieved is often followed by a to-infinitive.

He was relieved to find he'd suffered no more than a few scratches.
2. 'relief'

Relief /rɪ'liːf/ is a noun. If you feel relief, you feel glad because something unpleasant has stopped or has not happened.

I breathed a sigh of relief.
To my relief, he found the suggestion acceptable.

Relief is also money, food, or clothing that is provided for people who are very poor or hungry.

We are providing relief to vulnerable refugees, especially those who are sick.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: relieved
Gerund: relieving

I relieve
you relieve
he/she/it relieves
we relieve
you relieve
they relieve
I relieved
you relieved
he/she/it relieved
we relieved
you relieved
they relieved
Present Continuous
I am relieving
you are relieving
he/she/it is relieving
we are relieving
you are relieving
they are relieving
Present Perfect
I have relieved
you have relieved
he/she/it has relieved
we have relieved
you have relieved
they have relieved
Past Continuous
I was relieving
you were relieving
he/she/it was relieving
we were relieving
you were relieving
they were relieving
Past Perfect
I had relieved
you had relieved
he/she/it had relieved
we had relieved
you had relieved
they had relieved
I will relieve
you will relieve
he/she/it will relieve
we will relieve
you will relieve
they will relieve
Future Perfect
I will have relieved
you will have relieved
he/she/it will have relieved
we will have relieved
you will have relieved
they will have relieved
Future Continuous
I will be relieving
you will be relieving
he/she/it will be relieving
we will be relieving
you will be relieving
they will be relieving
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been relieving
you have been relieving
he/she/it has been relieving
we have been relieving
you have been relieving
they have been relieving
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been relieving
you will have been relieving
he/she/it will have been relieving
we will have been relieving
you will have been relieving
they will have been relieving
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been relieving
you had been relieving
he/she/it had been relieving
we had been relieving
you had been relieving
they had been relieving
I would relieve
you would relieve
he/she/it would relieve
we would relieve
you would relieve
they would relieve
Past Conditional
I would have relieved
you would have relieved
he/she/it would have relieved
we would have relieved
you would have relieved
they would have relieved
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.relieve - provide physical relief, as from painrelieve - provide physical relief, as from pain; "This pill will relieve your headaches"
soothe - cause to feel better; "the medicine soothes the pain of the inflammation"
comfort, ease - lessen pain or discomfort; alleviate; "ease the pain in your legs"
ameliorate, improve, meliorate, amend, better - to make better; "The editor improved the manuscript with his changes"
2.relieve - free someone temporarily from his or her obligations
spell - relieve (someone) from work by taking a turn; "She spelled her husband at the wheel"
discharge, free - free from obligations or duties
3.relieve - grant relief or an exemption from a rule or requirement to; "She exempted me from the exam"
derestrict - make free from restrictions
deregulate - lift the regulations on
dispense - grant a dispensation; grant an exemption; "I was dispensed from this terrible task"
forgive - absolve from payment; "I forgive you your debt"
spare - save or relieve from an experience or action; "I'll spare you from having to apologize formally"
4.relieve - lessen the intensity of or calmrelieve - lessen the intensity of or calm; "The news eased my conscience"; "still the fears"
comfort, console, solace, soothe - give moral or emotional strength to
abreact - discharge bad feelings or tension through verbalization
5.relieve - save from ruin, destruction, or harm
rescue, deliver - free from harm or evil
6.relieve - relieve oneself of troubling informationrelieve - relieve oneself of troubling information
confide - reveal in private; tell confidentially
7.relieve - provide relief for; "remedy his illness"
practice of medicine, medicine - the learned profession that is mastered by graduate training in a medical school and that is devoted to preventing or alleviating or curing diseases and injuries; "he studied medicine at Harvard"
care for, treat - provide treatment for; "The doctor treated my broken leg"; "The nurses cared for the bomb victims"; "The patient must be treated right away or she will die"; "Treat the infection with antibiotics"
8.relieve - free from a burden, evil, or distress
disembarrass, rid, free - relieve from; "Rid the house of pests"
9.relieve - take by stealing; "The thief relieved me of $100"
take - take by force; "Hitler took the Baltic Republics"; "The army took the fort on the hill"
10.relieve - grant exemption or release to; "Please excuse me from this class"
frank - exempt by means of an official pass or letter, as from customs or other checks
absolve, justify, free - let off the hook; "I absolve you from this responsibility"
11.relieve - alleviate or remove (pressure or stress) or make less oppressive; "relieve the pressure and the stress"; "lighten the burden of caring for her elderly parents"
mitigate - make less severe or harsh; "mitigating circumstances"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


2. interrupt, reduce, break up, alleviate, dispel, brighten, punctuate, lighten, counteract, mitigate, let up on (informal), make bearable Television did help to relieve the boredom and isolation.
3. free, release, deliver, discharge, exempt, unburden, disembarrass, disencumber He felt relieved of a burden.
4. take over from, substitute for, stand in for, take the place of, give (someone) a break or rest At seven o'clock the night nurse came in to relieve her.
5. help, support, aid, sustain, assist, succour, bring aid to a programme to relieve poor countries
relieve yourself pee, wee (informal), piss (taboo slang) (slang), urinate, tinkle (Brit. informal), piddle (informal), spend a penny (Brit. informal), make water, pass water, wee-wee (informal), take a leak (slang), micturate, take a whizz (slang, chiefly U.S.) She has to relieve herself every ten minutes.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. To make less severe or more bearable:
2. To free from or cast out something objectionable or undesirable:
Slang: shake.
3. To give support or assistance:
4. To free from an obligation or duty:
5. To free from a specific duty by acting as a substitute:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
يأخُذ عَنيُحَرِّر، يُعْفي من وَظيفَهيَحِلُّ مَحَليُخَفِّفُيُريح، يُخَفِّف
přinést pomocpropustitulevitvystřídatzbavit
aîstoîa, liîsinnaleysa afleysa frá störfumlina, létta, draga úrlosa viî/undan
poskytnúť pomocvystriedať
atmakazaltmakdindirmekkurtarmaknöbeti/görevi devralmak
làm dịu đi


[rɪˈliːv] VT
1. (= alleviate) [+ sufferings, pain, headache] → aliviar; [+ burden] → aligerar; [+ tension, boredom, anxiety] → disipar, aliviar
to feel relievedsentirse aliviado
to relieve the boredom of the journeypara que el viaje se haga menos aburrido
the plain is relieved by an occasional hillde vez en cuando una colina rompe con la monotonía de la llanura
2. (= ease) [+ person's mind] → tranquilizar
it relieves me to hear itme tranquiliza saberlo
3. [+ feelings, anger] → desahogar
to relieve one's feelingsdesahogarse
I relieved my feelings in a letterme desahogué escribiendo una carta
4. to relieve o.s (= go to lavatory) → ir al baño, hacer pis
5. (= release) to relieve sb of a dutyexonerar a algn de un deber
to relieve sb of a postdestituir a algn
he was relieved of his commandfue relevado de su mando
let me relieve you of your coatpermítame tomarle el abrigo
to relieve sb of his wallet (hum) → quitar la cartera a algn, robar la cartera a algn
6. (Mil) [+ city] → descercar, socorrer; [+ troops] → relevar
I'll come and relieve you at sixvengo a las seis a relevarte
7. to relieve the poor (= help) → socorrer a los pobres
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[rɪˈliːv] vt
(= lessen) [+ pain, stress, anxiety] → soulager; [+ boredom, monotony] → briser
This injection will relieve the pain → Cette piqûre va soulager la douleur.
to relieve sb of sth [+ pain, stress, anxiety] → soulager qn de qch
(= take over from) [+ shiftworker, nurse] → prendre la relève de, relever; [+ guard] → prendre la relève de, relever
(= remove from sb) to relieve sb of sth → débarrasser qn de qch
A porter relieved her of her suitcases → Un porteur la débarrassa de ses bagages. (humorous)soulager qn de qch
They have come up with many new ways to relieve tourists of their cash → Ils ont trouvé de nombreuses manières de soulager les touristes de leur argent.
to be relieved of one's post → être relevé(e) de son poste
to relieve sb of his command → relever qn de ses fonctions
(euphemism) to relieve o.s. (= urinate) → se soulager, faire ses besoins
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


personerleichtern; (of pain)befreien von; to feel relievederleichtert sein; to be relieved at somethingbei etw erleichtert aufatmen; he was relieved to learn thater war erleichtert, als er das hörte; to relieve somebody’s mindjdn beruhigen
to relieve somebody of something (of burden, pain)jdn von etw befreien; of duty, post, commandjdn einer Sache (gen)entheben (geh); of coat, suitcasejdm etw abnehmen; (hum) of wallet, purse etcjdn um etw erleichtern (hum)
(= mitigate) anxietymildern, schwächen; painlindern; (completely) → stillen; tension, stressabbauen; pressure, symptomsabschwächen; monotony (= interrupt)unterbrechen; (= liven things up)beleben; povertyerleichtern; (Med) congestionabhelfen (+dat); (completely) → beheben; to relieve one’s feelingsseinen Gefühlen Luft machen; the black of her dress was relieved by a white collardas Schwarz ihres Kleides wurde durch einen weißen Kragen etwas aufgelockert; the new road relieves peak-hour congestiondie neue Straße entlastet den Berufsverkehr; to relieve oneself (euph)sich erleichtern
(= help) stricken country, refugees etchelfen (+dat)
(= take over from, also Mil) → ablösen
(Mil) townentsetzen, befreien
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[rɪˈliːv] vt
a. (pain, anxiety, boredom) → alleviare; (person) → sollevare; (bring help) → soccorrere
I am relieved to hear you are better → sono sollevato dalla notizia che stai meglio
to relieve sb of sth (load) → alleggerire qn di qc (anxiety) → sollevare qn da qc (duty) → esonerare qn da qc
to relieve sb of his command (Mil) → esonerare qn dal comando
to relieve one's anger → sfogare la propria rabbia
to relieve congestion in sth (Med) → decongestionare qc
to relieve o.s. (euph) (go to lavatory) → fare i propri bisogni
b. (take over from) → sostituire; (replace, also) (Mil) → dare il cambio a (Mil) (town) → liberare
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(rəˈliːf) noun
1. a lessening or stopping of pain, worry, boredom etc. When one has a headache, an aspirin brings relief; He gave a sigh of relief; It was a great relief to find nothing had been stolen.
2. help (eg food) given to people in need of it. famine relief; (also adjective) A relief fund has been set up to send supplies to the refugees.
3. a person who takes over some job or task from another person, usually after a given period of time. The bus-driver was waiting for his relief; (also adjective) a relief driver.
4. the act of freeing a town etc from siege. the relief of Mafeking.
5. a way of carving etc in which the design is raised above the level of its background. a carving in relief.
reˈlieve (-v) verb
1. to lessen or stop (pain, worry etc). The doctor gave him some drugs to relieve the pain; to relieve the hardship of the refugees.
2. to take over a job or task from. You guard the door first, and I'll relieve you in two hours.
3. to dismiss (a person) from his job or position. He was relieved of his post/duties.
4. to take (something heavy, difficult etc) from someone. May I relieve you of that heavy case?; The new gardener relieved the old man of the burden of cutting the grass.
5. to come to the help of (a town etc which is under siege or attack).
reˈlieved adjective
no longer anxious or worried. I was relieved to hear you had arrived safely.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


يُخَفِّفُ zmírnit lindre erleichtern ανακουφίζω aliviar helpottaa soulager olakšati alleviare 安心させる 경감시키다 verlichten lindre ulżyć aliviar облегчать avhjälpa ผ่อนคลาย dindirmek làm dịu đi 减轻
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


v. [pain] aliviar, mejorar.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


vt aliviar
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
After five years of misunderstandings on the stairs, it pleased an all-wise Providence to relieve us of each other by taking my wife.
He entreated his companion to relieve him of a small portion, that he might carry home the rest; but the Mule paid no attention to the request.
All we need do is attack some other place that he will be obliged to relieve.
"Pray don't send and seek after me; I will write and relieve all your anxieties.
This explanation will, I trust, relieve those well-regulated minds, who cannot conceive of such literary lawlessness, from the bewilderment which they suffered when the same experiment was tried in a former book.
In the meantime you can relieve your feelings by cursing the one-man power and the effete monarchies of Europe."
The effect of the whole, however, in spite of all my sympathy for her, and my fury against him, was to relieve my mind of an intolerable burden, and fill my heart with joy, as if some friend had roused me from a dreadful nightmare.
It may serve, let us hope, to symbolise some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow
The pale, clear sky, the setting sun, the evening stillness--ah, somehow I felt disposed to grieve and feel hurt at these things; my heart seemed to be over-charged, and to be calling for tears to relieve it.
Writers there are who say the first adventure he met with was that of Puerto Lapice; others say it was that of the windmills; but what I have ascertained on this point, and what I have found written in the annals of La Mancha, is that he was on the road all day, and towards nightfall his hack and he found themselves dead tired and hungry, when, looking all around to see if he could discover any castle or shepherd's shanty where he might refresh himself and relieve his sore wants, he perceived not far out of his road an inn, which was as welcome as a star guiding him to the portals, if not the palaces, of his redemption; and quickening his pace he reached it just as night was setting in.
Elizabeth, feeling it incumbent on her to relieve him from so unpleasant a situation, now put herself forward to confirm his account, by mentioning her prior knowledge of it from Charlotte herself; and endeavoured to put a stop to the exclamations of her mother and sisters by the earnestness of her congratulations to Sir William, in which she was readily joined by Jane, and by making a variety of remarks on the happiness that might be expected from the match, the excellent character of Mr.
You know that there is nothing I will not do to relieve your anxieties."