What does relief mean?

Definitions for relief

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word relief.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. relief, alleviation, assuagement(noun)

    the feeling that comes when something burdensome is removed or reduced

    "as he heard the news he was suddenly flooded with relief"

  2. relief, ease(noun)

    the condition of being comfortable or relieved (especially after being relieved of distress)

    "he enjoyed his relief from responsibility"; "getting it off his conscience gave him some ease"

  3. relief(noun)

    (law) redress awarded by a court

    "was the relief supposed to be protection from future harm or compensation for past injury?"

  4. stand-in, substitute, relief, reliever, backup, backup man, fill-in(noun)

    someone who takes the place of another (as when things get dangerous or difficult)

    "the star had a stand-in for dangerous scenes"; "we need extra employees for summer fill-ins"

  5. relief, succor, succour, ministration(noun)

    assistance in time of difficulty

    "the contributions provided some relief for the victims"

  6. respite, rest, relief, rest period(noun)

    a pause for relaxation

    "people actually accomplish more when they take time for short rests"

  7. easing, moderation, relief(noun)

    a change for the better

  8. relief(noun)

    aid for the aged or indigent or handicapped

    "he has been on relief for many years"

  9. easing, easement, alleviation, relief(noun)

    the act of reducing something unpleasant (as pain or annoyance)

    "he asked the nurse for relief from the constant pain"

  10. relief, relievo, rilievo, embossment, sculptural relief(noun)

    sculpture consisting of shapes carved on a surface so as to stand out from the surrounding background

  11. relief(noun)

    the act of freeing a city or town that has been besieged

    "he asked for troops for the relief of Atlanta"


  1. relief(Noun)

    the removal of stress or discomfort.

    I sighed with relief when I found out that my daughter hadn't got lost, but was waiting for me at home.

  2. relief(Noun)

    the feeling associated with the removal of stress or discomfort

  3. relief(Noun)

    the person who takes over a shift for another

    Officer Schmidt can finally go home because his relief has arrived.

  4. relief(Noun)

    aid or assistance offered in time of need

  5. relief(Noun)

    court-ordered compensation, aid, or protection, a redress

  6. relief(Noun)

    tax savings

  7. relief(Noun)

    a type of artwork in which shapes or figures protrude from a flat background

  8. relief(Noun)

    the difference made noticeable by a variation in light or color

  9. relief(Noun)

    the difference of elevations on a surface

    The relief on that part of the earth's surface

Webster Dictionary

  1. Relief(noun)

    the act of relieving, or the state of being relieved; the removal, or partial removal, of any evil, or of anything oppressive or burdensome, by which some ease is obtained; succor; alleviation; comfort; ease; redress

  2. Relief(noun)

    release from a post, or from the performance of duty, by the intervention of others, by discharge, or by relay; as, a relief of a sentry

  3. Relief(noun)

    that which removes or lessens evil, pain, discomfort, uneasiness, etc.; that which gives succor, aid, or comfort; also, the person who relieves from performance of duty by taking the place of another; a relay

  4. Relief(noun)

    a fine or composition which the heir of a deceased tenant paid to the lord for the privilege of taking up the estate, which, on strict feudal principles, had lapsed or fallen to the lord on the death of the tenant

  5. Relief(noun)

    the projection of a figure above the ground or plane on which it is formed

  6. Relief(noun)

    the appearance of projection given by shading, shadow, etc., to any figure

  7. Relief(noun)

    the height to which works are raised above the bottom of the ditch

  8. Relief(noun)

    the elevations and surface undulations of a country


  1. Relief

    Relief, or relievo rilievo, is a sculptural technique. The term relief is from the Latin verb levo, to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is actually performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts seemingly raised. The technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, which is a time-consuming exercise with little artistic effect if the lowered background is left plain, as is often the case. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, and is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round, especially one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point, especially in stone. In other materials such as metal, clay, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mache the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, and monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, for which the Italian appellations are still sometimes used. The full range includes high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, mid-relief, low-relief, and shallow-relief or rilievo schiacciato, where the plane is scarcely more than scratched in order to remove background material. There is also sunk relief, which was mainly restricted to Ancient Egypt. However the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, and these two are generally the only terms used to discuss most work. The definition of these terms is somewhat variable, and many works combine areas in more than one of them, sometimes sliding between them in a single figure; accordingly some writers prefer to avoid all distinctions. The opposite of relief sculpture is counter-relief, intaglio, or cavo-rilievo, where the form is cut into the field or background rather than rising from it; this is very rare in monumental sculpture.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Relief

    rē-lēf′, n. the removal of any evil: release from a post or duty, replacement: one who replaces another: that which relieves or mitigates: aid: assistance to a pauper, as outdoor relief: a certain fine or composition paid by the heir of a tenant at the death of the ancestor: (fine art) the projection of a sculptured design from its ground, as low relief (bas-relief, basso-rilievo), middle relief (mezzo-rilievo), and high relief (alto-rilievo), according as the carved figures project very little, in a moderate degree, or in a very considerable degree from the background: a work of art executed in relief: (her.) the supposed projection of a charge from the surface of a field, indicated by shading on the sinister and lower sides: the condition of land surfaces as regards elevations and depressions—as indicated in a Relief′-map, in which the form of the country is expressed by elevations and depressions of the material used.—ns. Relief′-perspec′tive, the art of applying the principles of perspective to relief in painting and sculpture, in theatrical settings, &c.; Relief′-work, public work to provide employment for the poor in times of distress.—Relief Church, a body who left the Established Church of Scotland on account of the oppressive exercise of patronage, organised in 1761, uniting with the United Secession Church in 1847 to form the United Presbyterian Church. [O. Fr. relefrelever, to raise up—L. re-, again, levāre, to raise.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Relief

    prominence of a sculpture from a plain surface; works in relief are of three kinds: alto-relievo, high relief; mezzo-relievo, medium relief; basso-relievo, low relief.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. relief

    Inequalities of evaluation and the configuration of land features on the surface of the Earth which may be represented on maps or charts by contours, hypsometric tints, shading, or spot elevations.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'relief' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1593

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'relief' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1745

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'relief' in Nouns Frequency: #688

Anagrams for relief »

  1. Liefer

  2. Refile

How to pronounce relief ?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say relief in sign language?

  1. relief


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of relief in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of relief in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of relief in a Sentence

  1. Shelley Love Baldwin:

    This feels like a relief.

  2. Mark Walker:

    We'll see. sigh of relief.

  3. Paul Clement:

    There was meaningful relief here.

  4. Katrina Marston:

    Huge relief, we should get home OK.

  5. Lily Tomlin:

    For fast-acting relief try slowing down.

Images & Illustrations of relief

  1. reliefreliefreliefreliefrelief

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for relief

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • راحة, الإغاثةArabic
  • consol, relleuCatalan, Valencian
  • zástup, reliéf, (humanitární) pomoc, úlevaCzech
  • Hilfe, Erleichterung, Relief, Entlastung, AblösungGerman
  • ανάγλυφο, ανακούφισηGreek
  • desahogo, relieve, relevo, ayuda humanitaria, alivio, asistencia, auxilioSpanish
  • helpotus, reliefi, hyvitys, verohelpotus, syvyysvaikutelma, korvaus, pinnanmuodostus, korkeusero, korkokuva, vapauttaja, kohokuvaFinnish
  • soulagement, relief, allégement, relèveFrench
  • faoiseamh, rilífIrish
  • faochadhScottish Gaelic
  • הקלה, תבליטHebrew
  • राहतHindi
  • relief, domborműHungarian
  • soccorso, sollievo, rilievo, aiuto, assistenza, sopraelevazione, sostituto, bassorilievo, sgravio, cambioItalian
  • 救済, 浮彫的効果, 救援, 安心, 立体画法, 賠償, 減税, 法的救済, 安心感, 起伏, 交代者, 高低, 浮き彫りJapanese
  • ចម្លាក់លៀន, ចម្លាក់ផុសKhmer
  • 제고Korean
  • چارKurdish
  • solacium, auxiliumLatin
  • reljefsLatvian
  • āhua matawhenuaMāori
  • opluchting, reliëfDutch
  • relieffNorwegian
  • ulga, reliefPolish
  • auxílio, relevo, assistência humanitária, alívioPortuguese
  • ajutor umanitar, relief, asistență umanitară, altorelief, ușurare, alinare, basoreliefRomanian
  • облегчение, рельефRussian
  • рељеф, reljefSerbo-Croatian
  • lättnad, lindringSwedish
  • farajaSwahili
  • ఉపశమనంTelugu
  • kabartmaTurkish
  • 浮雕Chinese

Get even more translations for relief »


Find a translation for the relief definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss these relief definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"relief." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 18 Jun 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/relief>.

Are we missing a good definition for relief? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for relief:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.