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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Relieve


RELIE'VE, verb transitive [Latin relevo. See Relief.]

1. To free, wholly or partially, from pain, grief, want, anxiety, care, toil, trouble, burden, oppression or any thing that is considered to be an evil; to ease of any thing that pains the body or distresses the mind. Repose relieves the wearied body; a supply of provisions relieves a family in want; medicines may relieve the sick man, even when they do not cure him. We all desire to be relieved from anxiety and from heavy taxes. Law or duty, or both, require that we should relieve the poor and destitute.

2. To alleviate or remove; as when we say, to relieve pain or distress; to relieve the wants of the poor.

3. To dismiss from a post or station, as sentinels, a guard or ships, and station others in their place. Sentinels are generally relieved every two hours; a guard is usually relieved once in twenty four hours.

4. To right; to ease of any burden, wrong or oppression by judicial or legislative interposition, by the removal of a grievance, by indemnification for losses and the like.

5. To abate the inconvenience of any thing by change, or by the interposition of something dissimilar. The moon relieves the luster of the sun with a milder light.

The poet must not encumber his poem with, too much business, but sometimes relieve the subject with a moral reflection.

6. To assist; to support.

Parallels or like relations alternately relieve each other; when neither will pass asunder, yet are they plausible together.