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relieve

verb

Definition: 1. to ease a burden; 2. to free from an unpleasant situation; 3. to provide physical relief from pain; 4. to free someone from his or her obligations; 5. to take something from someone

Synonyms: help, ease, comfort, free, alleviate, allay, lessen, reduce, liberate, unburden, rob, deprive

Antonyms: burden, intensify, imprison

Tips: The word relieve has several meanings, both figurative and literal. Its essential meaning is that of providing relief or ease from something, because its Latin origin, relevare, means "to help" or "make light again." Relieve can also be used in a less positive, almost ironic, sense, as when we use it to say, "The thief relieved me of my wallet," to say that the thief stole the wallet.

Usage Examples:

I tried to relieve the pain in my ankle by putting an ice pack on it. (ease, alleviate, reduce)

My assistant has been working so hard lately, I decided to relieve her of her duties for the afternoon and take her out to lunch. (liberate, unburden)

A pickpocket at the train station relieved me of my money and all my travel documents. (robbed, deprived)

I was relieved to hear that he wasn't badly hurt in the accident. (comforted)


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