The word "relief" is a noun. It’s something that people get when they are in trouble, tired, or need a lot of help.

  • The Red Cross provides relief to disaster victims.
  • A feeling of relief swept over the city when the storm finally passed.
  • Firefighters who worked for hours on the burning building and faced exhaustion needed some relief.
  • Medicine can provide some relief from pain.
  • The government provides financial relief to those who face long periods of unemployment.
  • This aspirin isn’t providing very much relief for my headache. (The word "relief" is a noun count noun.)

The word "relief" can also be used as an adjective:

  • Relief organizations are providing help to the disaster victims.
  • The relief valve reduces pressure in the system.

You often hear people say, "What a relief!" when something difficult is finished or someone has escaped injury or death:

  • What a relief that’s over!
  • The people are safe. What a relief!

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This page was first published on November 1, 2012. It was updated on April 18, 2015.