American English

Definition of relief noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    removal of anxiety/pain
  1. 1[uncountable, singular] the feeling of happiness that you have when something unpleasant stops or does not happen a sense of relief We all breathed a sigh of relief when he left. She sighed with relief. Much to my relief, the car was not damaged. News of their safety came as a great relief. It was a relief to be able to talk to someone about it. What a relief!
  2. 2[uncountable] relief (from/of something) the act of removing or reducing pain, anxiety, etc. modern methods of pain relief the relief of suffering Massage can bring some relief from tension. Volunteers provide regular help to give relief to caregivers.
  3. help
  4. 3[uncountable] food, money, medicine, etc. that is given to help people in places where there has been a war or natural disaster synonym aid famine/disaster relief a relief agency/organization/worker
  5. 4[uncountable] financial help given by the government to people who need it
  6. on tax
  7. 5[uncountable] = tax relief relief on mortgage interest payments
  8. something different
  9. 6[uncountable, singular] something that is interesting or enjoyable that replaces something boring, difficult, or unpleasant for a short period of time a few moments of light relief in an otherwise dull performance There was little comic relief in his speech. relief from something The calm of the countryside came as a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  10. workers
  11. 7[countable] (often used as an adjective) a person or group of people that replaces another when they have finished working for the day or when they are sick The next crew relief comes on duty at 9 o'clock. relief drivers
  12. from enemy
  13. 8[singular] relief of… the act of freeing a town, etc. from an enemy army that has surrounded it the relief of Mafeking
  14. in art
  15. 9[uncountable, countable] a way of decorating wood, stone, etc. by cutting designs into the surface of it so that some parts stick out more than others; a design that is made in this way The column was decorated in high relief (= with designs that stick out a lot) with scenes from Greek mythology. The bronze doors are covered with sculpted reliefs. see also bas-relief
  16. making something noticeable
  17. 10[uncountable] the effect of colors, light, etc. that makes an object more noticeable than others around it The snow-capped mountain stood out in sharp relief against the blue sky.
  18. 11[uncountable] the quality of a particular situation, problem, etc. that makes it more noticeable than before Their differences have been thrown into sharp relief by the present crisis.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: relief