relieve

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay are comparable when they mean to make something tolerable or less grievous. Though they are often used interchangeably, they are clearly distinguishable.
Relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it definitely endurable or temporarily forgotten
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drugs that relieve pain

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taking steps to control the fire and relieve the suffering it entailed— Milner

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Occasionally relieve, when used in the passive, implies a release from anxiety or fear
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they were greatly relieved when her letter came

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Sometimes it suggests a break in monotony or in routine
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I've had some trouble to get them together to relieve the dullness of your incarceration— Meredith

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Alleviate stresses the temporary or partial nature of the relief and usually implies a contrast with cure and remedy
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oil of cloves will alleviate a toothache

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to help alleviate New York's chronic traffic problem— Current Biog.

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Lighten implies reduction in the weight of what oppresses or depresses; it often connotes a cheering or refreshing influence
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his interest in his work lightened his labors

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that blessed mood ... in which the heavy and the weary weight of all this unintelligible world is lightenedWordsworth

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Assuage suggests the moderation of violent emotion by influences that soften or mollify or sometimes sweeten
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the good gods assuage thy wrath— Shak.

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the life-giving zephyrs that assuage the torment of the summer heat— Cloete

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Mitigate also suggests moderation in the force, violence, or intensity of something painful; it does not, as assuage does, imply something endured but something inflicting or likely to inflict pain
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mitigate the barbarity of the criminal law— Inge

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group friction and conflict are generally mitigated when people realize their common interests— Cohen

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Allay, though it seldom implies complete release from what distresses or disquiets, does suggest an effective calming or quieting
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the report allayed their fears

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his suspicions were allayed

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these . . . words . . . allayed agitation; they composed, and con-sequently must make her happier— Austen

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Analogous words: *comfort, console, solace: *moderate, qualify, temper: diminish, reduce, lessen, *decrease
Antonyms: intensify: embarrass: alarm

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • relieve — sustantivo masculino 1. Parte que sobresale en una superficie plana: Hay que lijar bien los relieves de la puerta para que quede lisa. 2. Elevación de la parte que sobresale de una superficie plana: La figura tiene un centímetro de relieve. 3.… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • relieve — re‧lieve [rɪˈliːv] verb [transitive] to make a bad situation less severe: • Its Japanese parent company is expected to inject capital to relieve its crushing $3 billion debt. relieve somebody of something phrasal verb [transitive] 1. to help… …   Financial and business terms

  • Relieve — Re*lieve (r? l?v ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Relieved} ( l?vd ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Relieving}.] [OE. releven, F. relever to raise again, discharge, relieve, fr. L. relevare to lift up, raise, make light, relieve; pref. re re + levare to raise, fr.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • relieve — 1. m. Labor o figura que resalta sobre el plano. 2. Conjunto de formas complejas que accidentan la superficie del globo terráqueo. 3. Importancia o renombre de alguien o algo. 4. Pint. Realce o bulto que aparentan algunas cosas pintadas. 5.… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • relieve — [ri lēv′] vt. relieved, relieving [ME releven < OFr relever < L relevare, to lift up again < re , again + levare, to raise: see LEVER] 1. a) to ease, lighten, or reduce (pain, anxiety, etc.) b) to free (a person) from pain, discomfort,… …   English World dictionary

  • Relieve — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El término relieve puede referirse a: Relieve terrestre, para las formas que adopta la superficie de la corteza terrestre. Relieve (arte), para la técnica escultórica. Obtenido de Relieve Categoría:… …   Wikipedia Español

  • relieve — re·lieve vt re·lieved, re·liev·ing: to set free from a duty, burden, or liability cannot be relieved of his negligence the trust cannot relieve the trustees of those very basic duties that the law imposes Hosey v. Burgess, 890 S.W.2d 262 (1995)… …   Law dictionary

  • relieve — 1. alto relieve. → altorrelieve. 2. bajo relieve. → bajorrelieve …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • relieve — [v1] make less painful; let up on abate, allay, alleviate, appease, assuage, break, brighten, calm, comfort, console, cure, decrease, diminish, divert, dull, ease, free, interrupt, lighten, mitigate, moderate, mollify, palliate, qualify, quiet,… …   New thesaurus

  • relieve — ► VERB 1) alleviate or remove (pain, distress, or difficulty). 2) (usu. be relieved) cause (someone) to stop feeling distressed or anxious. 3) release (someone) from duty by taking their place. 4) (relieve of) take (a burden or responsibility)… …   English terms dictionary

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