relieve implies the reduction of misery, discomfort, or tediousness sufficiently to make it bearable they played a game to relieve the monotony of the trip; alleviate implies temporary relief, suggesting that the source of the misery remains unaffected drugs to alleviate the pain; lighten implies a cheering reduction of the weight of oppression or depression nothing can lighten the burden of our grief; assuage suggests a softening or pacifying influence in lessening pain or distress, calming anger or passion, etc. her kind words assuaged his resentment; mitigate implies a moderating or making milder of that which is likely to cause pain to mitigate a punishment; allay suggests an effective, although temporary or incomplete, calming or quieting we've allayed their suspicions
To make less severe or more bearable:allay, alleviate, assuage, comfort, ease, lessen, lighten2, mitigate, palliate. See increase
To free from or cast out something objectionable or undesirable:clear, disburden, disembarrass, disencumber, release, rid, shake off, throw off, unburden. (Slang) shake. See keep
To give support or assistance:abet, aid, assist, boost, help (out), succor. Idioms: give (or lend) a hand, give a leg up. See help
To free from an obligation or duty:absolve, discharge, dispense, excuse, exempt, let off, spare. See free
To free from a specific duty by acting as a substitute:spell3, take over. See substitute
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