on re lief


1 [ri-leef]
alleviation, ease, or deliverance through the removal of pain, distress, oppression, etc.
a means or thing that relieves pain, distress, anxiety, etc.
money, food, or other help given to those in poverty or need.
something affording a pleasing change, as from monotony.
release from a post of duty, as by the arrival of a substitute or replacement.
the person or persons acting as replacement.
the rescue of a besieged town, fort, etc., from an attacking force.
the freeing of a closed space, as a tank or boiler, from more than a desirable amount of pressure or vacuum.
Feudal Law. a fine or composition which the heir of a feudal tenant paid to the lord for the privilege of succeeding to the estate.
a distinct or abrupt change in mood, scene, action, etc., resulting in a reduction of intensity, as in a play or novel.
on relief, receiving financial assistance from a municipal, state, or federal government because of poverty or need.

1300–50; Middle English relef < Old French relief, derivative of relever to raise; see relieve

reliefless, adjective

1. mitigation, assuagement, comfort. 3. succor, aid, redress, remedy.

1. intensification.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
relief (rɪˈliːf)
1.  a feeling of cheerfulness or optimism that follows the removal of anxiety, pain, or distress: I breathed a sigh of relief
2.  deliverance from or alleviation of anxiety, pain, distress, etc
3.  a.  help or assistance, as to the poor, needy, or distressed
 b.  (as modifier): relief work
4.  short for tax relief
5.  something that affords a diversion from monotony
6.  a person who replaces or relieves another at some task or duty
7.  a bus, shuttle plane, etc, that carries additional passengers when a scheduled service is full
8.  a road (relief road) carrying traffic round an urban area; bypass
9.  a.  the act of freeing a beleaguered town, fortress, etc: the relief of Mafeking
 b.  (as modifier): a relief column
10.  sculpture, architect relievo, Also called: rilievo
 a.  the projection of forms or figures from a flat ground, so that they are partly or wholly free of it
 b.  a piece of work of this kind
11.  a printing process, such as engraving, letterpress, etc, that employs raised surfaces from which ink is transferred to the paper
12.  any vivid effect resulting from contrast: comic relief
13.  variation in altitude in an area; difference between highest and lowest level: a region of low relief
14.  mechanical engineering the removal of the surface material of a bearing area to allow the access of lubricating fluid
15.  law redress of a grievance or hardship: to seek relief through the courts
16.  European history a succession of payments made by an heir to a fief to his lord: the size of the relief was determined by the lord within bounds set by custom
17.  (US), (Canadian) on relief (of a person) in receipt of government aid because of personal need
[C14: from Old French, from relever to raise up; see relieve]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"ease, alleviation," early 14c., from Anglo-Fr. relif, from O.Fr. relief "assistance," lit. "a raising, that which is lifted," from stressed stem of relever (see relieve). Meaning "aid to impoverished persons" is attested from c.1400; that of "deliverance of a besieged town" is from 1540s.

"projection of figure or design from a flat surface," 1606, from It. rilievo, from rilevare "to raise," from L. relevare "to raise, lighten" (see relieve).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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