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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.

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Definitions of relieve from WordNet

relieve (v.)
provide physical relief, as from pain;
This pill will relieve your headaches
Synonyms: alleviate / palliate / assuage
relieve (v.)
free someone temporarily from his or her obligations;
Synonyms: take over
relieve (v.)
grant relief or an exemption from a rule or requirement to;
Synonyms: exempt / free
relieve (v.)
lessen the intensity of or calm;
Synonyms: still / allay / ease
relieve (v.)
save from ruin, destruction, or harm;
Synonyms: salvage / salve / save
relieve (v.)
relieve oneself of troubling information;
Synonyms: unbosom
relieve (v.)
provide relief for;
Synonyms: remedy
relieve (v.)
free from a burden, evil, or distress;
relieve (v.)
take by stealing;
The thief relieved me of $100
relieve (v.)
grant exemption or release to;
Synonyms: excuse / let off / exempt
relieve (v.)
alleviate or remove (pressure or stress) or make less oppressive;
relieve the pressure and the stress
Synonyms: lighten
From wordnet.princeton.edu