relieve

Definitions

General English

Aviation

Human Resources

  • verb to come to work to take the place of another employee at the end of a shift

Military

  • verb to provide assistance or support
  • verb to destroy or drive off an enemy force, which has surrounded another friendly force or is besieging or investing a friendly town or city
  • verb to take over a duty or task from another person or unit

Origin & History of “relieve”

Relieve goes back via Old French relever to Latin relevāre ‘raise again’, a compound verb formed from the prefix re- ‘again’ and levāre ‘raise’ (source of English elevate, levy, etc). Its metaphorical extension to ‘lighten, alleviate’ began in Latin. The derived noun relief reached English in two phases. first, in the standard sense ‘easing, alleviation’, via Anglo-Norman relef in the 14th century; and then, in the 17th century, via French from Italian relievo in the sense ‘raised area in a design’ – a return to the etymological meaning ‘raise’.
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