American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The easing of a burden or distress, such as pain, anxiety, or oppression.
- n. Something that alleviates pain or distress.
- n. Public assistance.
- n. Aid in time of danger, especially rescue from siege.
- n. Release from a post or duty, as that of sentinel.
- n. One who releases another by taking over a post or duty.
- n. A pleasant or amusing change; a diversion.
- n. The projection of figures or forms from a flat background, as in sculpture, or the apparent projection of such shapes in a painting or drawing.
- n. A work of art featuring such projection. Also called relievo.
- n. Geology The variations in elevation of an area of the earth's surface.
- n. Distinction or prominence due to contrast: "The light brought the white church . . . into relief from the flat ledges” ( Willa Cather).
- n. Law Redress awarded by a court.
- n. Baseball The pitching done by a relief pitcher: gave the team two innings of excellent relief.
- n. A payment made by the heir of a deceased tenant to a feudal lord for the privilege of succeeding to the tenant's estate.
- idiom. on relief Receiving public assistance because of need or poverty.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of relieving, or the state of being relieved: the removal, in whole or in part, of any pain, oppression, or burden, so that some ease is obtained; alleviation; succor; comfort.
- n. That which mitigates or removes pain, grief, want, or other evil.
- n. In Great Britain, assistance given under the poor-laws to a pauper: as, to administer outdoor relief.
- n. Release from a post of duty by a substitute or substitutes, who may act either permanently or temporarily; especially, the going off duty of a sentinel or guard whose place is supplied by another soldier.
- n. One who relieves another, as from a post of duty; a soldier who relieves another who is on guard; collectively, a company of soldiers who relieve others who are on guard.
- n. In sculp., arch., etc., the projection (in painting, the apparent projection) of a figure or feature from the ground or plane on which it is formed. Relief is, in general, of three kinds: high relief (alto-rilievo), low relief (basso-rilievo, bas-relief), and middle or half relief (mezzo-rilievo). The distinction lies in the degree of projection. High relief is that in which the figures project at least one half of their natural circumference from the background. In low relief the figures project but slightly from the ground, in such a manner that no part of them is entirely detached from it, as in medals, the chief effect being produced by the treatment of light and shadow. Middle or half relief is intermediate between the other two. The varieties of relief are still further distinguished as stiacciato rilievo, or very flat relief, the lowest possible relief, of which the projection in parts hardly exceeds the thickness of a sheet of paper; and cavo-riliew, hollow relief, also called
intaglio rilevato, or cœlanaglyphic sculpture, an Egyptian form of relief obtained by cutting a furrow with sloping sides around a figure previously outlined on a stone surface, leaving the highest parts of the finished work on a level with the original surface-plane. See also cut in next column, and cuts under orant, Proserpine, alto-rilievo, and bas-relief.
- n. A work of art or decoration in relief of any of the varieties described above.
- n. In heraldry the supposed projection of a charge from the surface of the field, represented by shading with a heavier bounding-line on the sinister side and toward the base than on the dexter Side and toward the chief. Thus, if an escutcheon is divided into seven vertical stripes, alternately red and white, it would not he blazoned paly of seven gules and argent, as the rule is that paly is always of an even number, but the sinister side of three alternate stripes would be Shaded to indicate relief, and the blazoning would be gulea, three pallets argent, the assumption being that the pallets are in relief upon the field.
- n. In physical geography, the form of surface of any part of the earth, considered in the most general way, and with special regard to differences of elevation: little used except in the name relief-map, by which is meant a geographical or geological map in which the form of surface is expressed by elevations and depressions of the material used. Unless the scale of such relief-maps is very large, there must be considerable exaggeration, because differences of vertical elevations in nature are small as compared with superficial extent. Relief-maps are occasionally made by preparing a model of the region it is desired to exhibit, and then photographing this model under an oblique illumination. The relief of the surface is also frequently indicated on maps by various colors or by a number of tints of one color, Both hachure and contour-line maps also indicate the relief of the surface, to a greater or less extent, according to their scale and artistic perfection. Thus, the Dufour map of Switzerland, especially when photographed down to a small size, has in a very striking degree the effect of a photograph from an actual model, although in reality a hachure-map.
- n. In fortification, the perpendicular height of the interior crest of the parapet above the bottom of the ditch.
- n. Prominence or distinctness given to anything by something presenting a contrast to it, or brought into close relation with or proximity to it; a contrast.
- n. In hunting, a note sounded on the horn on reaching home after the chase.
- n. What is picked up; fragments left; broken meat given in alms.
- n. In law, that which a eourt of justice awards to a suitor as redress for the grievance of which he complains.
- n. In feudal law, a fine or composition which the heir of a tenant holding by knight's service or other tenure paid to the lord at the death of the ancestor, for the privilege of succeeding to the estate, which, on strict feudal principles, had lapsed or fallen to the lord on the death of the tenant. This relief consisted of horses, arms, money, etc., the amount of which was originally arbitrary, but afterward fixed by law. The term is still used in this sense in Scots law, being a sum exigible by a feudal superior from the heir who enters on a feu. Also called
casualty of relief.
- n. Synonyms Mitigation.
- n. Help, aid, support.
- n. A portion that is elevated above the general surface; a ridge, hill, or mountain.
- n. In mineralogy, the character of the surface of a thin section of a mineral as shown under a microscope, depending on its refractive power relative to that of the substance in which it is embedded.
- n. The removal of stress or discomfort.
- n. The feeling associated with the removal of stress or discomfort.
- n. The person who takes over a shift for another.
- n. Aid or assistance offered in time of need.
- n. law Court-ordered compensation, aid, or protection, a redress.
- n. Tax savings.
- n. A type of artwork in which shapes or figures protrude from a flat background.
- n. The difference made noticeable by a variation in light or color.
- n. The difference of elevations on a surface.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of relieving, or the state of being relieved; the removal, or partial removal, of any evil, or of anything oppressive or burdensome, by which some ease is obtained; succor; alleviation; comfort; ease; redress.
- n. Release from a post, or from the performance of duty, by the intervention of others, by discharge, or by relay.
- n. That which removes or lessens evil, pain, discomfort, uneasiness, etc.; that which gives succor, aid, or comfort; also, the person who relieves from performance of duty by taking the place of another; a relay.
- n. (Feudal Law) A fine or composition which the heir of a deceased tenant paid to the lord for the privilege of taking up the estate, which, on strict feudal principles, had lapsed or fallen to the lord on the death of the tenant.
- n. (Sculp. & Arch.) The projection of a figure above the ground or plane on which it is formed.
- n. (Paint.) The appearance of projection given by shading, shadow, etc., to any figure.
- n. (Fort.) The height to which works are raised above the bottom of the ditch.
- n. (Physical Geog.) The elevations and surface undulations of a country.
- n. the act of freeing a city or town that has been besieged
- n. a pause for relaxation
- n. sculpture consisting of shapes carved on a surface so as to stand out from the surrounding background
- n. assistance in time of difficulty
- n. the act of reducing something unpleasant (as pain or annoyance)
- n. (law) redress awarded by a court
- n. the condition of being comfortable or relieved (especially after being relieved of distress)
- n. the feeling that comes when something burdensome is removed or reduced
- n. someone who takes the place of another (as when things get dangerous or difficult)
- n. aid for the aged or indigent or handicapped
- n. a change for the better
- Middle English, from Old French, from relever, to relieve; see relieve. Senses 6, 7, and 8, French, from Italian rilievo; see bas-relief. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Pain relief is generally considered the endpoint of treatment; therefore, most physicians will avoid the use of local anesthetics. 23 Short acting general anesthetics or regional nerve blocks are sometimes used during treatment.”
“I've always found the term relief well kind of confusing, because to me it suggests that it's going to relieve the pressure somehow and let the oil come out of these wells.”
“But Sexton found Nicks for an easy 31-yard score on fourth down with 4: 11 left to seal it, and Nicks set the receiving record with a 22-yard catch a little later from T.J. Yates, making his first appearance in relief from a broken ankle suffered in September against Virginia Tech. Newspaper Home Delivery - Subscribe Today”
“I've had a headache most of the day and finally drugged myself and now I think the pain relief is conking me out.”
“I don't want to use the term relief when it's such a gruesome case.”
“Clinton and McCain have both suggested the "tax vacation" as a short term relief from the high cost of gas, during the summer vacation season.”
“Senator Obama believes Americans need real short-term relief, which is why he has proposed a second round of stimulus with energy rebates for working families.”
“For short term relief, I usually recommend using a rich emollient like Aquaphor for dry, reddened skin.”
“They have decided not to go this year and the relief is almost physical.”
“We're going through a bunch of what we call relief in places now, so our numbers are up about 160,000.”
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