What does relieve mean?

Definitions for relieve

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. relieve, alleviate, palliate, assuageverb

    provide physical relief, as from pain

    "This pill will relieve your headaches"

  2. take over, relieveverb

    free someone temporarily from his or her obligations

  3. exempt, relieve, freeverb

    grant relief or an exemption from a rule or requirement to

    "She exempted me from the exam"

  4. still, allay, relieve, easeverb

    lessen the intensity of or calm

    "The news eased my conscience"; "still the fears"

  5. salvage, salve, relieve, saveverb

    save from ruin, destruction, or harm

  6. unbosom, relieveverb

    relieve oneself of troubling information

  7. remedy, relieveverb

    provide relief for

    "remedy his illness"

  8. relieveverb

    free from a burden, evil, or distress

  9. relieveverb

    take by stealing

    "The thief relieved me of $100"

  10. excuse, relieve, let off, exemptverb

    grant exemption or release to

    "Please excuse me from this class"

  11. relieve, lightenverb

    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"


  1. relieveverb

    To ease (a person, person's thoughts etc.) from mental distress; to stop (someone) feeling anxious or worried, to alleviate the distress of.

  2. relieveverb

    To ease (someone, a part of the body etc.) or give relief from physical pain or discomfort.

  3. relieveverb

    To alleviate (pain, distress, mental discomfort etc.).

  4. relieveverb

    To provide comfort or assistance to (someone in need, especially in poverty).

  5. relieveverb

    To lift up; to raise again.

  6. relieveverb

    To raise (someone) out of danger or from (a specified difficulty etc.).

  7. relieveverb

    To free (someone) from debt or legal obligations; to give legal relief to.

    This shall not relieve either Party of any obligations.

  8. relieveverb

    To bring military help to (a besieged town); to lift the seige on.

  9. relieveverb

    To release (someone) from or of a difficulty, unwanted task, responsibility etc.

  10. relieveverb

    To free (someone) from their post, task etc. by taking their place.

  11. relieveverb

    To make (something) stand out; to make prominent, bring into relief.

  12. relieveverb

    To go to the toilet; to defecate or urinate.

  13. Etymology: From relever, specifically from the conjugated forms such as relieve, and its source, relevo, combined form of re- + levo. Compare levant, levity, etc.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary


    Etymology: relevo, Lat. relever, Fr.

    As the great lamp of day,
    Through diff’rent regions, does his course pursue,
    And leaves one world but to revive a new;
    While, by a pleasing change, the queen of night
    Relieves his lustre with a milder light. George Stepney.

    Since the inculcating precept upon precept will prove tiresome, the poet must not encumber his poem with too much business; but sometimes relieve the subject with a moral reflection. Joseph Addison, Essay on the Georgicks.

    Parallels, or like relations, alternately relieve each other; when neither will pass asunder, yet are they plausible together. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    From thy growing store,
    Now lend assistance, and relieve the poor;
    A pittance of thy land will set him free. Dryden.

    Honest soldier, who hath relieved you?
    —— Bernado has my place, give you good night. William Shakespeare.

    Relieve the centries that have watch’d all night. Dryden.


  1. relieve

    To relieve means to alleviate, reduce or remove pain, distress, pressure, or any discomforting condition. It can also refer to the act of replacing someone temporarily from their duties or responsibilities.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Relieveverb

    to lift up; to raise again, as one who has fallen; to cause to rise

  2. Relieveverb

    to cause to seem to rise; to put in relief; to give prominence or conspicuousness to; to set off by contrast

  3. Relieveverb

    to raise up something in; to introduce a contrast or variety into; to remove the monotony or sameness of

  4. Relieveverb

    to raise or remove, as anything which depresses, weighs down, or crushes; to render less burdensome or afflicting; to alleviate; to abate; to mitigate; to lessen; as, to relieve pain; to relieve the wants of the poor

  5. Relieveverb

    to free, wholly or partly, from any burden, trial, evil, distress, or the like; to give ease, comfort, or consolation to; to give aid, help, or succor to; to support, strengthen, or deliver; as, to relieve a besieged town

  6. Relieveverb

    to release from a post, station, or duty; to put another in place of, or to take the place of, in the bearing of any burden, or discharge of any duty

  7. Relieveverb

    to ease of any imposition, burden, wrong, or oppression, by judicial or legislative interposition, as by the removal of a grievance, by indemnification for losses, or the like; to right

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Relieve

    rē-lēv′, v.t. to remove from that which weighs down or depresses: to lessen: to ease: to help: to release: to support: to mitigate: to raise the siege of: (art) to set off by contrast: (law) to redress.—adj. Reliev′able.—n. Reliev′er, one who, or that which, relieves: (slang) a garment kept for being lent out.—adj. Reliev′ing, serving to relieve: (naut.) a temporary tackle attached to the tiller of a vessel in a storm.—Relieving arch, an arch in a wall to relieve the part below it from a superincumbent weight; Relieving officer, a salaried official who superintends the relief of the poor. [O. Fr. relever, to raise again—L. relevārere-, again, levāre, to raise—levis, light.]

Suggested Resources

  1. Relieve

    Relive vs. Relieve -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Relive and Relieve.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'relieve' in Verbs Frequency: #873

How to pronounce relieve?

How to say relieve in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of relieve in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of relieve in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of relieve in a Sentence

  1. David Pilgrim:

    Compassion is not pity, not even empathetic pity. There is arrogance and haughty pride in pitying others. Compassion is when we are confronted with another’s suffering and we suffer with them. Their pain is ours. We are motivated to relieve their suffering. When we feel true compassion we help those who suffer, not as a cathartic release, but because it breaks our heart that they are hurting. I have not always known or believed these things, but I am thankful that I do now.

  2. Walt Whitman:

    I see great things in baseball. It's our game--the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.

  3. The CDC:

    You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally.

  4. Lin Sternlicht:

    An important technique to stop the stress response is to ground yourself in the present moment.Stress is often triggered by experiences that are not occurring in the moment, often stemming from past or future events and mind wandering, as such, grounding oneself is an effective technique to relieve stress. There are many techniques to ground yourself in the present moment, and the more you practice them the easier and more natural it will become.

  5. Bhartrihari:

    Low-minded men are occupied solely with their own affairs, but noble-minded men take special interest in the affairs of others. The submarine fire drinks up the ocean, to fill its insatiable interior; the rain-cloud, that it may relieve the drought of the earth, burnt up by the hot season.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for relieve

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • ulevitCzech
  • aliviarSpanish
  • keventää, vapauttaa, avustaa, [[nostaa]] [[pystyyn]], korostaa, [[murtaa]] [[saarto]], lievittää, tukea, helpottaaFinnish
  • esautorare, lenire, liberarsi, patrocinare, risollevarsi, alleviare, rilevare, assistere, risollevare, mitigareItalian
  • avløyseNorwegian Nynorsk
  • avløse, avløyseNorwegian

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"relieve." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 2 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/relieve>.

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