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  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈliːf/
  • Rhymes: -iːf

Etymology 1Edit

From Old French relief (assistance), from Old French relever (to relieve), from Latin relevare (to raise up, make light). See also relieve.


relief (countable and uncountable, plural reliefs)

  1. The removal of stress or discomfort.
    I sighed with relief when I found out that my daughter hadn't got lost, but was waiting for me at home.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      Although the Celebrity was almost impervious to sarcasm, he was now beginning to exhibit visible signs of uneasiness, [] . It was with a palpable relief that he heard the first warning notes of the figure.
  2. The feeling associated with the removal of stress or discomfort.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 20, in The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      Tony's face expressed relief, and Nettie sat silent for a moment until the vicar said “It was a generous impulse, but it may have been a momentary one, [] .”
  3. Release from a post or duty, as when replaced by another.
  4. The person who takes over a shift for another.
    Officer Schmidt can finally go home because his relief has arrived.
  5. Aid or assistance offered in time of need.
  6. (law) Court-ordered compensation, aid, or protection, a redress.
  7. A lowering of a tax through special provisions; tax relief.
  8. A certain fine or composition paid by the heir of a tenant upon the death of the ancestor.
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2Edit

From Italian rilevare (to raise), from Latin relevare (to raise).


relief (countable and uncountable, plural reliefs)

  1. A type of sculpture or other artwork in which shapes or figures protrude from a flat background.
  2. The apparent difference in elevation in the surface of a painting or drawing made noticeable by a variation in light or color.
  3. The difference of elevations on a surface.
    the relief on that part of the Earth's surface
  4. (heraldry) The supposed projection of a charge from the surface of a field, indicated by shading on the sinister and lower sides.
Derived termsEdit


relief (comparative more relief, superlative most relief)

  1. (of a surface) Characterized by surface inequalities.
  2. Of or used in letterpress.




Old French, from relever.



relief m (plural reliefs)

  1. projection, relief
  2. (geography, mineralogy) relief, surface elevation
  3. (figuratively) contrast, definition, offset (against something else)
  4. (sculpture) relief

Further readingEdit


Polish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia pl



relief m inan

  1. relief




relief n (plural reliefuri)

  1. relief (difference of elevations on the Earth's surface)

Related termsEdit