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This page has 20 definitions of relief with English translations in 4 languages. Relief is a noun and adjective. Examples of how to use relief in a sentence are shown. Also define these 38 related words and terms: stress, discomfort, associate, shift, aid, assistance, law, compensation, protection, redress, lowering, tax, provision, tax relief, fine, composition, heir, tenant, death, ancestor, sculpture, artwork, protrude, light, color, elevation, heraldry, charge, field, shading, sinister, letterpress, projection, geography, mineralogy, contrast, definition, and offset.

See also: Relief and reliéf



Etymology 1

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.
    • Stress definition
      A physical, chemical, infective agent aggressing an organism. (1 of 10 stress definitions)
  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, [] .”
    • 2020 April 8, Philip Haigh, “Out of the current crisis we could see meaningful changes”, in Rail, page 56:
      DfT's action was greeted with great relief in many quarters.
  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.
    • Tax Relief definition
      A reduction in the amount of tax that an individual or company has to pay.
  8. A certain fine or composition paid by the heir of a tenant upon the death of the ancestor.
    • Fine definition
      Senses referring to subjective quality.
      1. Of superior quality. (1 of 17 fine definitions)
    • Tenant definition
      One who pays a fee (rent) in return for the use of land, buildings, or other property owned by others. (1 of 4 tenant definitions)
Derived terms
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 Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2

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


relief (countable and uncountable, plural reliefs)

The relief of Diana at the Amalienburg, in Munich (Germany) (sense 1)
Relief with two putti and with a cartouche, above a door from Paris (sense 1)
  1. A type of sculpture or other artwork in which shapes or figures protrude from a flat background.
    • Artwork definition
      A painting, drawing, sculpture or other piece of creative, visual art (1 of 3 artwork definitions)
  2. The apparent difference in elevation in the surface of a painting or drawing made noticeable by a variation in light or color.
    • Color definition
      The spectral composition of visible light. (1 of 23 color definitions)
  3. The difference of elevations on a surface.
    the relief on that part of the Earth's surface
    • Elevation definition
      The act of raising from a lower place, condition, or quality to a higher; said of material things, persons, the mind, the voice, etc. (1 of 9 elevation definitions)
  4. (heraldry) The supposed projection of a charge from the surface of a field, indicated by shading on the sinister and lower sides.
Derived terms


relief (comparative more relief, superlative most relief)

  1. (of a surface) Characterized by surface inequalities.
  2. Of or used in letterpress.
    • Letterpress definition
      The printing process in which ink is applied to the top surface of a raised image area, which is then pressed against paper to transfer the image. (1 of 3 letterpress definitions)




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 reading



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



relief m inan

  1. relief




relief n (plural reliefuri)

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

Related terms