Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: relever; RELIEVE


Related topics: Visual, Welfare
re‧lief S2 W2


[singular, uncountable] a feeling of comfort when something frightening, worrying, or painful has ended or has not happened [↪ relieve]:
I felt a huge surge of relief and happiness.
with relief
He watched with relief as the girl nodded.
in relief
He laughed in relief.
No one was hurt, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
it is a relief to see/have/know etc something
I hate to say it, but it was a relief to have him out of the house.
to somebody's relief
To my relief, they spoke English.
what a relief/that's a relief
The doctor said it was just the flu. What a relief!

reduction of pain

[uncountable] when something reduces someone's pain or unhappy feelings:
Marijuana can provide pain relief for some cancer patients.
relief of
the relief of suffering
relief from
The cool room provided relief from the terrible heat outdoors.


[uncountable] money, food, clothes etc given to people who are poor or hungry:
money raised for the relief effort
disaster/famine/flood etc relief
famine relief for victims of the drought


[uncountable] a person or group of people that replaces another one and does their work after they have finished:
the relief for the military guard
a relief driver


[uncountable and countable]AV a way of decorating wood, stone etc with a shape or figure that is raised above the surface, or the decoration itself [↪ bas relief]
in relief
figures carved in relief

bring/throw something into relief

also stand out in relief to make something very noticeable, or to be very noticeable
sharp/stark relief
The tree stood out in stark relief against the snow.
The article throws into sharp relief the differences between the two theories.

light/comic relief

a funny moment during a serious film, book, or situation:
a moment of comic relief


[uncountable] old-fashioned especially American EnglishPEW money given by the government to help people who are poor, old, unemployed etc [= welfare]
on relief
families on relief during the Depression


[uncountable]PM formal the act of freeing a town when it has been surrounded by an enemy
relief of
the relief of Mafeking


in relief

SG if you show a part of the Earth's surface in relief, you show the differences in height between different parts of it

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