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re·lieve / riˈlēv/ • v. [tr.] 1. cause (pain, distress, or difficulty) to become less severe or serious: the drug was used to promote sleep and to relieve pain. ∎  (usu. be relieved) cause (someone) to stop feeling distressed or anxious about something: he was relieved by her change of tone. ∎  make less tedious or monotonous by the introduction of variety or of something striking or pleasing: the bird's body is black, relieved only by white under the tail. 2. release (someone) from duty by taking their place: another signalman relieved him at 5:30. ∎  bring military support for (a besieged place): he dispatched an expedition to relieve the city. ∎ Baseball (of a relief pitcher) take the place of (another pitcher) during a game. 3. (relieve someone of) take (a burden) from someone: he relieved her of her baggage. ∎  free someone from (a tiresome responsibility): she relieved me of the household chores. ∎  used euphemistically to indicate that someone has been deprived of something: he was relieved of his world title. 4. (relieve oneself) urinate or defecate (used euphemistically). 5. archaic make (something) stand out: the twilight relieving in purple masses the foliage of the island. DERIVATIVES: re·liev·a·ble adj. re·liev·ed·ly / riˈlēvədlē/ adv. re·liev·er n.

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relieve assist in trouble or difficulty XIV; ease, mitigate XV; (Sc.) release XVI; (after RELIEF1) release from guard or watch XVII; (after RELIEF2) bring into relief XVIII. ME. releve — (O)F. relever :- L. relevāre raise again. succour, alleviate, f. RE- + levāre raise, f. levis LIGHT2.

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relieveachieve, believe, breve, cleave, conceive, deceive, eve, greave, grieve, heave, interleave, interweave, khedive, leave, misconceive, naive, Neve, peeve, perceive, reave, receive, reive, relieve, reprieve, retrieve, sheave, sleeve, steeve, Steve, Tananarive, Tel Aviv, thieve, underachieve, upheave, weave, we've, Yves •make-believe • shirtsleeve •semibreve • Congreve

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