AskDefine | Define relief

Dictionary Definition



1 the feeling that comes when something burdensome is removed or reduced; "as he heard the news he was suddenly flooded with relief" [syn: alleviation, assuagement]
2 the condition of being comfortable or relieved (especially after being relieved of distress); "he enjoyed his relief from responsibility"; "getting it off his conscience gave him some ease" [syn: ease]
3 (law) redress awarded by a court; "was the relief supposed to be protection from future harm or compensation for past injury?"
4 someone who takes the place of another (as when things get dangerous or difficult); "the star had a stand-in for dangerous scenes"; "we need extra employees for summer fill-ins" [syn: stand-in, substitute, reliever, backup, backup man, fill-in]
5 assistance in time of difficulty; "the contributions provided some relief for the victims" [syn: succor, succour, ministration]
6 a pause for relaxation; "people actually accomplish more when they take time for short rests" [syn: respite, rest, rest period]
7 a change for the better [syn: easing, moderation]
8 aid for the aged or indigent or handicapped; "he has been on relief for many years"
9 the act of reducing something unpleasant (as pain or annoyance); "he asked the nurse for relief from the constant pain" [syn: easing, easement, alleviation]
10 sculpture consisting of shapes carved on a surface so as to stand out from the surrounding background [syn: relievo, rilievo, embossment, sculptural relief]
11 the act of freeing a city or town that has been besieged; "he asked for troops for the relief of Atlanta"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. the removal of stress or discomfort
  2. the feeling associated with the removal of stress or dicomfort
  3. something that relieves
  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. court-ordered compensation, aid, or protection, a redress
  7. tax savings.
  8. a type of artwork in which shapes or figures protrude from a flat background
  9. the difference made noticeable by a variation in light or color
  10. the different elevations of the earth's surface


removal of stress or discomfort
  • Arabic:
  • Chinese: 解除 (jiě chú)
  • Czech: úleva
  • Dutch: opluchting
  • Finnish: helpotus
  • French: soulagement, allégement
  • German: Erleichterung
  • Greek: ανακούφιση
  • Hebrew: הקלה (hɑkɑlɑ)
  • Italian: sollievo
  • Japanese: 安心 (anshin)
  • Korean: 제고 (jego)
  • Polish: ulga
  • Portuguese: alívio
  • Russian: облегчение
  • Spanish: alivio
  • Swedish: lättnad
  • Telugu: ఉపశమనం (upaSamanam)
humanitarian aid or assistance
a type of artwork
  • Bosnian: reljef
  • Italian: rilievo, bassorilievo
  • Portuguese: relevo
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: рељеф
    Roman: reljef
elevations of the earth's surface
  • French: relief
  • Greek: ανάγλυφο
  • Hebrew: תִּבְלֹטֶת (tivlotet), תבליט (tɑvlit)
  • Italian: rilievo, sopraelevazione
  • Portuguese: relevo
  • Russian: рельеф

Extensive Definition

A relief is a sculptured artwork where a modeled form is raised (or alternatively lowered) from a flattened background without being disconnected from it. Reliefs are common throughout the world, for example on monumental buildings. The frieze in the classical Corinthian order is often enriched with bas-relief (low relief). Alto-relievo (high-relief) may been seen in the pediments of classical temples, e.g., the Parthenon. Occasionally, several reliefs together represent a sequence of events.

Types of relief

  • Bas-relief (pronounced "bah relief") is where the overall depth of a projecting image is shallow. The background is compressed to such an extent it may be flat, as on coins.
  • Alto-relief is where the image is highly undercut and rendered almost in the round against the background. Images are usually near natural depth. The background is detailed and deeper.
  • Sunken-relief, also known as intaglio or hollow-relief, is where the "background" is flat, but is nearest the viewer, while the image is deeper, carved into the flat surface.

Famous reliefs

Famous examples of reliefs include:
relief in Breton: Torosennadur
relief in Danish: Relief
relief in German: Relief (Kunst)
relief in Spanish: Relieve (arte)
relief in French: Relief
relief in Hebrew: תבליט
relief in Indonesian: Relief
relief in Italian: Bassorilievo
relief in Italian: Altorilievo
relief in Latvian: Cilnis
relief in Japanese: レリーフ
relief in Dutch: Reliëf (beeldhouwkunst)
relief in Polish: Relief
relief in Portuguese: Relevo (escultura)
relief in Russian: Рельеф (скульптура)
relief in Finnish: Reliefi
relief in Swedish: Relief
relief in Turkish: Kabartma
relief in Ukrainian: Барельєф
relief in Chinese: 浮雕

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ADC, CYSP sculpture, Medicaid, Medicare, abatement, agent, aid, aid and comfort, alimony, allayment, alleviation, allotment, allowance, alterative, alternate, alternative, anaglyph, anaglyptics, anaglyptography, analeptic, analogy, annuity, appeasement, architectural sculpture, assist, assistance, assuagement, assurance, auxiliaries, backup, balm, balsam, bas-relief, bellying, benefit, benevolence, boldness, bone-carving, boss, bounty, bout, break, bulging, cameo, cameo glass, casting, cavo-rilievo, ceroplastics, chance, change, changeling, chasing, clay sculpture, clemency, coffee break, comfort, commiseration, comparison, compassion, condolence, configuration, consolation, contour, contrast, copy, corrective, counterfeit, cradle-to-grave security, cure, cut glass, decorative sculpture, delineation, deliverance, depletion allowance, deputy, disburdening, disencumberment, dole, double, downtime, dummy, earth art, ease, easement, easing, elevation, embossing, embossment, eminence, encouragement, engraving, equal, equivalent, ersatz, exchange, excrescence, excrescency, extrusion, fake, favor, features, feeling, fellowship, figuration, figure, fill-in, financial assistance, forbearance, forgiveness, founding, framework, garden sculpture, gem-cutting, gestalt, ghost, ghostwriter, gibbosity, gibbousness, glass sculpture, glyph, glyptic, glyptograph, go, good offices, grace, grant, grant-in-aid, guaranteed annual income, guaranteed income, half time, half-time intermission, hand, healing agent, healing quality, health insurance, help, high relief, holiday, humanity, imitation, inning, innings, intaglio, intaglio rilevato, intaglio rilievo, interim, interlude, intermezzo, intermission, intermittence, interregnum, interruption, interval, ivory-carving, kindness, leniency, letup, liberation, lift, lightening, lineaments, lines, locum tenens, lost-wax process, low relief, lull, main features, makeshift, mask, medal, medallion, mercy, metal sculpture, metaphor, metonymy, ministration, ministry, mitigation, modeling, molding, mollification, monumental sculpture, next best thing, off-time, office, offices, old-age assistance, old-age insurance, opportunity, outline, paper sculpture, pardon, pathos, pause, pecuniary aid, pension, personnel, phony, pinch hitter, pity, place, plaquette, plaster casting, plastic art, plateau, point of repose, portrait sculpture, prescription, price support, profile, projection, prominence, protection, protrusion, protuberance, protuberancy, proxy, public assistance, public welfare, quarter, quiet spell, reassurance, receipt, recess, recipe, redress, reinforcements, release, relief-carving, relievo, remedial measure, remedy, remission, replacement, representative, reprieve, rescue, reserve forces, reserves, respite, resting point, restorative, retirement benefits, ringer, round, ruth, salience, salient, say, scholarship, sculptor, sculpture, sculptured glass, sculpturing, second string, secondary, self-pity, service, shapes, shell-carving, shred of comfort, sickness insurance, sign, silhouette, skeleton, social insurance, social security, social welfare, socialized medicine, softening, solace, solacement, sovereign remedy, spares, specific, specific remedy, spell, stand-in, state medicine, statuary, stipend, stone sculpture, stonecutting, sub, subsidization, subsidy, substituent, substitute, substitution, subvention, succedaneum, succor, superseder, supplanter, support, surrogate, symbol, sympathy, synecdoche, tax benefit, therapy, third string, time, time at bat, time off, time out, token, tournure, tuberosity, tuberousness, turn, unballasting, unburdening, understudy, unemployment compensation, unemployment insurance, unfreighting, unlading, unloading, unsaddling, untaxing, utility player, vacation, vicar, vice-president, vice-regent, welfare, welfare aid, welfare capitalism, welfare payments, welfare state, welfare statism, welfarism, whack, whittling, wire sculpture, womb-to-tomb security, wood carving, xyloglyphy
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