Pronunciation: (ri-lēv'), [key]
v., -lieved, -liev•ing.

1. to ease or alleviate (pain, distress, anxiety, need, etc.).
2. to free from anxiety, fear, pain, etc.
3. to free from need, poverty, etc.
4. to bring effective aid to (a besieged town, military position, etc.).
5. to ease (a person) of any burden, wrong, or oppression, as by legal means.
6. to reduce (a pressure, load, weight, etc., on a device or object under stress): to relieve the steam pressure; to relieve the stress on the supporting walls.
7. to make less tedious, unpleasant, or monotonous; break or vary the sameness of: curtains to relieve the drabness of the room.
8. to bring into relief or prominence; heighten the effect of.
9. to release (one on duty) by coming as or providing a substitute or replacement.
10. Mach.
a. to free (a closed space, as a tank, boiler, etc.) of more than a desirable pressure or vacuum.
b. to reduce (the pressure or vacuum in such a space) to a desirable level.
11. replace (a pitcher).

1. act as a relief pitcher: He relieved in 52 games for the Pirates last season.
2. to relieve oneself, to urinate or defecate.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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