Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: MILITARY

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: relever 'to raise, relieve', from Latin relevare, from levare 'to raise'

relieve

verb
     
re‧lieve S3 [transitive]
1

pain

to reduce someone's pain or unpleasant feelings [↪ relief]:
Drugs helped to relieve the pain.
relieve tension/pressure/stress etc
Some people eat for comfort, to relieve their anxieties.
2

problem

to make a problem less difficult or serious:
programs aimed at relieving unemployment
3

replace somebody

to replace someone when they have completed their duty or when they need a rest:
The guard will be relieved at midnight.
4

relieve yourself

HBH a polite expression meaning to urinate - often used humorously
5

boring

to make something less dull and boring:
a plain wall relieved by flecks of blue and yellow
relieve the boredom/monotony
The books helped relieve the boredom of waiting.
6

war

PM formal to free a town which an enemy has surrounded

relieve somebody of something

phrasal verb
1 formal to help someone by taking something from them, especially a job they do not want to do or something heavy that they are carrying:
A secretary was hired to relieve her of some of the administrative work.
He rose and relieved her of her bags.
2

relieve somebody of their post/duties/command etc

formal to take away someone's job because they have done something wrong:
After the defeat General Meyer was relieved of his command.
3 to steal something from someone - used humorously:
A couple of guys relieved him of his wallet.
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