Definition of relief noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//rɪˈliːf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈliːf//
    Natural disasters, Architectural features
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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 carers.
  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 relief a relief agency/organization/worker See related entries: Natural disasters
  5. 4  [uncountable] (especially North American English) 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 + singular or plural verb] (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 See related entries: Architectural features
  16. making something noticeable
  17. 10[uncountable] the effect of colours, 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.
  19. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French, from relever ‘raise up, relieve’, from Latin relevare ‘raise again, alleviate’.Extra examples Exercise is good for stress relief. He believes that relief only comes from helping others with their suffering. He breathed a sigh of relief. He found relief from his fears in a world of fantasy and art. He hugged her out of sheer relief. He sighed with relief. I felt enormous relief once they phoned. I felt enormous relief when he walked through the door. Morning brought no relief from the heat. No tax relief is available in respect of this loss. Relief flooded through me as the aeroplane landed safely. She could sense his relief when she said she wouldn’t be leaving. She said that the fighting has halted almost all relief work in the area. She smiled in relief. She smiled with evident relief. She sought relief in drink. The comical characters are brought into the story for a little light relief. The drugs only provided temporary relief from the pain. The injection gives complete pain relief. The news came as a welcome relief to Bobby. The news of his appointment was received with a certain relief by most people. The news was a huge relief to her. The organization provides emergency famine relief. The proximity of the wealthy suburb to the squatter camp throws the plight of the squatters into even sharper relief. The scene has been carved in high relief. The scene provided some comic relief for the audience. The snow-capped mountains stood out in sharp relief against the blue sky. Their relief at the news was palpable. There was a huge international relief effort to bring help to the stricken area. To my great relief, she didn’t notice that anything was wrong. We need long-term solutions as well as short-term emergency relief. You can get income tax relief for gifts to charity. You get mortgage relief of 10% on the next £5 000. Your doctor can give you symptomatic relief, but there is no cure. a pressure relief valve a sculpture in high relief relief at not having been made a fool of relief from hunger the abolition of mortgage interest relief News of their safe arrival came as a great relief. One relief agency worker described the situation as ‘catastrophic’. The next crew relief comes on duty at 9 o’clock. We all breathed a sigh of relief when he came back safely. We have a pool of relief drivers available to us. We raised £5 000 for famine relief. What a relief! modern methods of pain relief the relief of poverty/​misery/​suffering
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: relief