relief

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be on relief

To be or begin receiving assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (usually run by the government) due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to be on relief these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have been on relief for extended periods of time.
See also: on, relief

go on relief

To begin receiving assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (usually run by the government) due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to go on relief these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have gone on relief for extended periods of time.
See also: on, relief

heave a sigh of relief

To experience an intense feeling of happiness or relief because something particularly stressful, unpleasant, or undesirable has been avoided or completed. Everyone in class heaved a sigh of relief after that horrible midterm exam was over. Investors in Europe are heaving a big sigh of relief now that a Greek exit from the Euro has been avoided.
See also: heave, of, relief, sigh

sigh of relief

A feeling or display of relief that something particularly stressful, unpleasant, or undesirable has been avoided or completed. Everyone in class heaved a sigh of relief after that horrible midterm exam was over. Investors in Europe had a big sigh of relief now that a Greek exit from the Euro has been avoided.
See also: of, relief, sigh

breathe a sigh of relief

To experience an intense feeling of happiness or relief because something particularly stressful, unpleasant, or undesirable has been avoided or completed. Everyone in class breathed a sigh of relief after that horrible midterm exam was over. Investors are breathing a big sigh of relief now that the predicted downturn has seemingly been avoided.
See also: breathe, of, relief, sigh

light relief

That which provides simple or distracting entertainment during or after something that is very serious or tedious. I could tell the moderator was trying to provide a bit of light relief to keep the forum from being a total snorefest, but it just wasn’t enough.
See also: light, relief

on relief

In receipt of assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (most often government-run), due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to go on relief these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have been on relief for extended periods of time.
See also: on, relief

breathe a sigh of relief

 
1. Lit. to sigh in a way that signals one's relief that something has come to an end. At the end of the contest, we all breathed a sigh of relief.
2. Fig. to express relief that something has ended. With the contract finally signed, we breathed a sigh of relief as we drank a toast in celebration.
See also: breathe, of, relief, sigh

throw something into sharp relief

Fig. [for something] to make something plainly evident or clearly visible. The dull, plain background threw the ornate settee into sharp relief. The red vase was thrown into sharp relief against the black background.
See also: relief, sharp, throw

on relief

Also, on welfare; on the dole. Receiving public financial assistance, as in Half the people in this town are on relief, or Don hated the idea of going on welfare. The first two terms originated in the United States in the 1930s, when government assistance of this kind was first instituted. On the dole, used mainly in Britain but occasionally in America, dates from the 1920s, although the use of dole for a charitable gift dates from about 1200.
See also: on, relief

on relief

Receiving public assistance because of need or poverty.
See also: on, relief
References in classic literature ?
As he sat there, motionless, this feeling of relief became a feeling of profound happiness.
These she gathered and piled far in the stern of the boat, until at last, to her immense relief, she saw the bow rise gently from the mud of the bank and the stern drift slowly with the current until it again lodged a few feet farther down-stream.
Genevieve sighed with relief, her tense body relaxing and a faintness coming over her.
After all, to have one burden the less on their shoulders may prove a relief, though there are still two children left--a babe at the breast and a little girl of six
I have sought to impart this relief to the more serious passages in the book, not only because I believe myself to be justified in doing so by the laws of Art -- but because experience has taught me (what the experience of my readers will doubtless confirm) that there is no such moral phenomenon as unmixed tragedy to be found in the world around us.
How glad and how grateful the relief from this unnatural hallucination of the night, and the fatal contingency of being brought by the lee
As a result, these revenues were already quadrupled, and yet the burden was so much more equably distributed than before, that all the king- dom felt a sense of relief, and the praises of my ad- ministration were hearty and general.
Many a night he vaguely and unhappily wandered there, when wine had brought no transitory gladness to him; many a dreary daybreak revealed his solitary figure lingering there, and still lingering there when the first beams of the sun brought into strong relief, removed beauties of architecture in spires of churches and lofty buildings, as perhaps the quiet time brought some sense of better things, else forgotten and unattainable, into his mind.
Across the Channel, across the Irish Sea, across the Atlantic, corn, bread, and meat were tearing to our relief.