1a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress:much to her relief, she saw the door open
[count noun] a cause of or occasion for relief:it was a relief to find somewhere to stay
the alleviation of pain, discomfort, or distress:tablets for the relief of pain
(usually light relief) something interesting or enjoyable that provides a short respite from a tense or tedious situation:the kiss-and-tell tale gave the nation some light relief from page after page of war coverage
2financial or practical assistance given to those in special need or difficulty:raising money for famine relief [as modifier]:relief workers
a remission of tax normally due:employees who donate to charity will receive tax relief
chiefly Law the redress of a hardship or grievance.
the action of raising the siege of a besieged town:the relief of Mafeking
3 [usually as modifier] a person or group of people replacing others who have been on duty:the relief nurse was late
British an extra vehicle providing supplementary public transport at peak times or in emergencies:the coach had broken down and a relief vehicle had taken an hour to arrive
4the state of being clearly visible or obvious due to being accentuated:the setting sun threw the snow-covered peaks into relief
a method of moulding, carving, or stamping in which the design stands out from the surface, to a greater ( high relief) or lesser ( low relief) extent:he cast them in relief from molten metal
[count noun] a piece of sculpture in relief.
a representation of relief given by an arrangement of line or colour or shading.
Geography difference in height from the surrounding terrain:the sharp relief of many mountains
[via French from Italian rilievo, from rilevare 'raise', from Latin relevare]
Baseball acting as a substitute pitcher:he appeared in relief over two seasons
chiefly North American receiving state assistance because of need:he was the type of man who ended up on relief when times were flush for everyone else