Definition of relieve verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//rɪˈliːv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈliːv//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they relieve
    BrE BrE//rɪˈliːv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈliːv//
    he / she / it relieves
    BrE BrE//rɪˈliːvz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈliːvz//
    past simple relieved
    BrE BrE//rɪˈliːvd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈliːvd//
    past participle relieved
    BrE BrE//rɪˈliːvd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈliːvd//
    -ing form relieving
    BrE BrE//rɪˈliːvɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈliːvɪŋ//
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  1. 1relieve something to remove or reduce an unpleasant feeling or pain to relieve the symptoms of a cold to relieve anxiety/guilt/stress Being able to tell the truth at last seemed to relieve her.
  2. 2relieve something to make a problem less serious synonym alleviate efforts to relieve poverty to relieve traffic congestion
  3. 3relieve something to make something less boring, especially by introducing something different We played cards to relieve the boredom of the long wait. The black and white pattern is relieved by tiny coloured flowers.
  4. 4relieve somebody to replace somebody who is on duty to relieve a sentry You'll be relieved at six o'clock.
  5. 5relieve something to free a town, etc. from an enemy army that has surrounded it
  6. 6relieve yourself a polite way of referring to going to the toilet I had to relieve myself behind a bush.
  7. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French relever, from Latin relevare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + levare ‘raise’ (from levis ‘light’).Extra examples Respite care is intended to relieve parents of the burden of caring for disabled children. They try to relieve the symptoms of depression by drinking. trying to relieve the symptoms of depression Aid workers called for further effort from governments to relieve the famine. Don’t resort to alcohol to relieve stress. Take painkillers and hot drinks to relieve the symptoms. You’ll be relieved at 6 o’clock. to relieve a driver/​sentry Phrasal Verbsrelieve somebody of something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: relieve

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