Words related to *legwh-

relevant (adj.)

"to the purpose, applicable, pertinent to the matter at hand," 1550s, from French relevant "depending upon," originally "helpful," from Medieval Latin relevantem (nominative relevans), from stem of Latin relevare "to lessen, lighten," hence "to help, assist; comfort, console" (see relieve). Not generally used until after 1800.

releve (n.)

1825 as a dish; 1930 in ballet, "a lifted step, a raising of the body on point or points," literally "raised up," from French relevé, 19th century verbal noun from past participle of relever "to raise" (see relieve). Middle English had relevement "relief, succor" (mid-15c., from Old French) and relevacioun "alleviation, relief; a raising up" (c. 1400, from Latin).

relief (n.1)

late 14c., "alleviation of distress, hunger, sickness, etc; state of being relieved; that which mitigates or removes" (pain, grief, evil, etc.)," from Anglo-French relif, from Old French relief "assistance," literally "a raising, that which is lifted;" from stressed stem of relever (see relieve).

The meaning "aid to impoverished persons" is attested from c. 1400, from 19c. especially of assistance by governments; that of "deliverance of a besieged town" is from c. 1400. The word was used earlier in English as "that which is left over or left behind," also "feudal payment to an overlord made by an heir upon taking possession of an estate" (both c. 1200).

relieve (v.)

late 14c., releven, "alleviate (pain, etc.) wholly or partly, mitigate; afford comfort; allow respite; diminish the pressure of," also "give alms to, provide for;" also figuratively, "take heart, cheer up;" from Old French relever "to raise, relieve" (11c.) and directly from Latin relevare "to raise, alleviate, lift up, free from a burden," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + levare "to lift up, lighten," from levis "not heavy" (from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight").

The notion is "to raise (someone) out of trouble." From c. 1400 as "advance to the rescue in battle, bring help to a besieged place;" also "return from battle; recall (troops)." Meaning "release from duty" is from early 15c. Related: relieved; relieving.

allay (v.)

Middle English alegen, from Old English alecgan "to put, place, put down; remit, give up, suppress, abolish; diminish, lessen," from a- "down, aside" (see a- (1)) + lecgan "to lay" (see lay (v.)). A common Germanic compound (cognates: Gothic uslagjan "lay down," Old High German irleccan, German erlegen "to bring down").

Early Middle English pronunciations of -y- and -g- were not always distinct, and the word was confused in Middle English with various senses of Romanic-derived alloy (v.) and especially a now-obsolete verb allege "to alleviate, lighten" (from Latin alleviare, from ad "to" + levis "light" in weight; from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight").

Amid the overlapping of meanings that thus arose, there was developed a perplexing network of uses of allay and allege, that belong entirely to no one of the original vbs., but combine the senses of two or more of them. [OED]

Hence senses "lighten, alleviate; mix, temper, weaken." The confusion with the Latin words probably also accounts for the unetymological double -l-, attested from 17c. Related: Allayed; allaying.

levari facias 
old type of writ of execution against goods and profits of a debtor, legal Latin, literally "cause to be levied;" passive of levare "to raise" (from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight") + second person singular present subjunctive of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put")
levy (n.1)
"an act of levying, a raising or collecting of anything" (a tax, debt, fine, etc.), early 15c., from Anglo-French leve (mid-13c.), Old French levée "a raising, lifting; levying," noun use of fem. past participle of lever "to raise" (from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight").

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