AskDefine | Define relieve

Dictionary Definition



1 provide physical relief, as from pain; "This pill will relieve your headaches" [syn: alleviate, palliate, assuage]
2 free someone temporarily from his or her obligations [syn: take over]
3 grant relief or an exemption from a rule or requirement to; "She exempted me from the exam" [syn: exempt, free] [ant: enforce]
4 lessen the intensity of or calm; "The news eased my conscience"; "still the fears" [syn: still, allay, ease]
5 save from ruin, destruction, or harm [syn: salvage, salve, save]
6 relieve oneself of troubling information [syn: unbosom]
7 alleviate or remove; "relieve the pressure and the stress"
8 provide relief for; "remedy his illness" [syn: remedy]
9 free from a burden, evil, or distress
10 take by stealing; "The thief relieved me of $100"
11 grant exemption or release to; "Please excuse me from this class" [syn: excuse, let off, exempt]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To lift up; to raise again, as one who has fallen; to cause to rise.
  2. To cause to seem to rise; to put in relief; to give prominence or conspicuousness to; to set off by contrast.
  3. To raise up something in; to introduce a contrast or variety into; to remove the monotony or sameness of.
  4. 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. 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. 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. 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.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abate, abet, abridge, absolve, act for, aid, allay, alleviate, alternate, anesthetize, appease, assist, assuage, assure, avail, bail out, be light, bear a hand, bear up, befriend, benefit, benumb, bereave, bleed, break up, change places with, cheer, comfort, condole with, console, cover, crowd out, curtail, cushion, cut off, cut out, deaden, deaden the pain, decrease, deliver, deprive, deprive of, differ, differentiate, diminish, disburden, discharge, disencumber, disentitle, dispense, displace, dissent, disunify, divaricate, diverge, diversify, divest, do a hitch, do a stint, do a tour, do good, do time, doctor, double for, drain, dull, ease, ease matters, ease one of, encourage, enlist, excuse, favor, fill in, fill in for, foment, free, ghost, ghostwrite, give a boost, give a hand, give a lift, give comfort, give help, give relief, have a go, have little weight, have tenure, hearten, help, hold office, keep a watch, kick the beam, knock off, knock over, lay, lend a hand, lend one aid, lessen, let, liberate, lift, lighten, lighten one of, loot, lull, make light, make lighter, milk, mine, mitigate, moderate, mollify, numb, off-load, pad, palliate, pinch-hit, plunder, poultice, pour balm into, pour oil on, proffer aid, protect, put at ease, qualify, quiet, raise, rally, ransack, re-up, reassure, reclaim, redeem, reduce, reduce weight, reenlist, release, remedy, render assistance, replace, represent, rescue, restore, resuscitate, revive, rid, rifle, rob, salve, save, serve time, set at ease, set up, sign up, slacken, slake, soften, solace, soothe, spare, spell, spell off, stand in for, stick up, stupe, sub, subdue, subrogate, substitute, substitute for, succeed, succor, supersede, supplant, supply, support, swap places with, sympathize with, take away from, take from, take in tow, take over, take turns, tap, temper, time off, unballast, unburden, understudy for, unlade, unload, variate, variegate, vary, weigh lightly
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