What does relief mean?

Definitions for relief

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word relief.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. relief, alleviation, assuagementnoun

    the feeling that comes when something burdensome is removed or reduced

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

  2. relief, easenoun

    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. reliefnoun

    (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-innoun

    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, ministrationnoun

    assistance in time of difficulty

    "the contributions provided some relief for the victims"

  6. respite, rest, relief, rest periodnoun

    a pause for relaxation

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

  7. easing, moderation, reliefnoun

    a change for the better

  8. reliefnoun

    aid for the aged or indigent or handicapped

    "he has been on relief for many years"

  9. easing, easement, alleviation, reliefnoun

    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 reliefnoun

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

  11. reliefnoun

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

    "he asked for troops for the relief of Atlanta"


  1. reliefnoun

    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. reliefnoun

    the feeling associated with the removal of stress or discomfort

  3. reliefnoun

    the person who takes over a shift for another

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

  4. reliefnoun

    aid or assistance offered in time of need

  5. reliefnoun

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

  6. reliefnoun

    tax savings

  7. reliefnoun

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

  8. reliefnoun

    the difference made noticeable by a variation in light or color

  9. reliefnoun

    the difference of elevations on a surface

    The relief on that part of the earth's surface

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Reliefnoun

    Etymology: relief, Fr.

    The figures of many ancient coins rise up in a much more beautiful relief than those on the modern; the face sinking by degrees in the several declensions of the empire, till about Constantine’s time, it lies almost even with the surface of the medal. Joseph Addison, on Ancient Medals.

    Not with such majesty, such bold relief,
    The forms august of kings, or conqu’ring chief,
    E’er swell’d on marble, as in verse have shin’d,
    In polish’d verse, the manners and the mind. Alexander Pope.

    Thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen,
    Tending to some relief of our extremes. John Milton.

    So should we make our death a glad relief
    From future shame. John Dryden, Knight’s Tale.

    Nor dar’d I to presume, that press’d with grief,
    My flight should urge you to this dire relief;
    Stay, stay your steps. John Dryden, Æneis.

    For this relief, much thanks; ’tis bitter cold,
    And I am sick at heart. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.


  1. relief

    Relief refers to the alleviation, easing, or reduction of pain, distress, or discomfort. It can also refer to the provision of aid or assistance during difficult situations such as emergencies or disasters. Additionally, in the context of geography, relief refers to variations in physical features on the earth's surface such as elevations and depressions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reliefnoun

    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. Reliefnoun

    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. Reliefnoun

    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. Reliefnoun

    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. Reliefnoun

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

  6. Reliefnoun

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

  7. Reliefnoun

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

  8. Reliefnoun

    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.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. relief

    The change of watches. Also, the person relieving a particular station. Also, a fresh detachment of troops, ordered to replace those already on duty. In fortification, the total height of the crest of the parapet above the bottom of the ditch.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. relief

    A fresh detachment of troops, ordered to replace those already upon duty. Also, the body of men proceeding to take the places of, or relieve, the existing sentinels. Guards are usually divided into three reliefs. See Guard, Running.

  2. relief

    In fortification, is the height to which works are raised above the bottom of the ditch. If the works are high and commanding, they are said to have a bold relief; but if the reverse, they are said to have a low relief. The relief should provide the requisite elevations for the musketry and artillery, to insure a good defense.

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

How to pronounce relief?

How to say relief in sign language?


  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. Rebeccah Slater:

    Our study suggests that not only do babies experience pain but they may be more sensitive to it than adults, if we would provide pain relief for an older child undergoing a procedure, then we should look at giving pain relief to an infant.

  2. George Eliot:

    There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.

  3. J. B. Priestley:

    As we read the school reports on our children, we realize a sense of relief that can rise to delight that-thank Heaven-nobody is reporting in this fashion on us.

  4. Elizabeth Prelogar:

    Over the past three years, millions of Americans have struggled to pay rent, utilities, food, and many have been unable to pay their debts, loan forgiveness is a paradigmatic form of debt relief, and the secretary acted within the heartland of his authority and in line with the central purpose of the HEROES Act( of 2003) in providing that relief here. To apply the major questions doctrine to override that clear text would deny borrowers critical relief that Congress authorized, and the secretary deemed essential.

  5. John Barrymore:

    In Genesis, it says that it is not good for a man to be alone but sometimes it is a great relief.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for relief

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • راحة, الإغاثةArabic
  • consol, relleuCatalan, Valencian
  • zástup, reliéf, (humanitární) pomoc, úlevaCzech
  • lettelseDanish
  • Hilfe, Erleichterung, Relief, Entlastung, AblösungGerman
  • ανάγλυφο, ανακούφισηGreek
  • reliefoEsperanto
  • 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
  • הֲקָלָהHebrew
  • 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
  • நிவாரணTamil
  • ఉపశమనంTelugu
  • ความโล่งอกThai
  • kabartmaTurkish
  • 浮雕Chinese

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"relief." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/relief>.

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    something (a term or expression or concept) that has a reciprocal relation to something else
    • A. reciprocal
    • B. sheath
    • C. brasserie
    • D. mitre

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