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

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

bring (something) into sharp relief

1. To cause something to stand out sharply or be vividly visible or noticeable. Often used in passive constructions. We use light pastel colors on the walls to bring the artwork into sharp relief. The unique architecture of the building was brought into sharp relief by the plain green fields surrounding it. The intermittent flashes of lightning brought the imposing mountain peak into sharp relief.
2. To cause something to become extremely conspicuous, apparent, or noticeable. The recent national strikes have once again brought the issue of unpaid overtime into sharp relief. It's amazing how someone's absence can suddenly bring your love for them into such sharp relief. The new manager's conviction and sense of purpose really brings into sharp relief just how useless our last boss was.
See also: bring, relief, sharp

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: go, 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

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

put (something) into sharp relief

1. To cause something to stand out sharply or be vividly visible or noticeable. Often used in passive constructions. We use light pastel colors on the walls to put the artwork into sharp relief. The unique architecture of the building was put into sharp relief by the plain green fields surrounding it. The intermittent flashes of lightning put the imposing mountain peak into sharp relief.
2. To cause something to become extremely conspicuous, apparent, or noticeable. The recent national strikes have once again put the issue of unpaid overtime into sharp relief. It's amazing how someone's absence can suddenly put your love for them into such sharp relief. The new manager's conviction and sense of purpose really puts into sharp relief just how useless our last boss was.
See also: put, relief, sharp

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

throw (something) into sharp relief

1. To cause something to stand out sharply or be vividly visible or noticeable. Often used in passive constructions. We use light pastel colors on the walls to throw the artwork into sharp relief. The unique architecture of the building was thrown into sharp relief by the plain green fields surrounding it. The intermittent flashes of lightning threw the imposing mountain peak into sharp relief.
2. To cause something to become extremely conspicuous, apparent, or noticeable. The recent national strikes have once again thrown the issue of unpaid overtime into sharp relief. It's amazing how someone's absence can suddenly throw your love for them into such sharp relief. The new manager's conviction and sense of purpose really throws into sharp relief just how useless our last boss was.
See also: relief, sharp, throw
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on relief

Receiving public assistance because of need or poverty.
See also: on, relief
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

sigh of relief, (heave) a

Whew; an expulsion of breath indicating that one is out of a tight spot. Sighing with longing, pain, grief, and numerous similar emotions is common in the English language—especially in poetry—from the earliest days. The word “sigh” comes from Middle English and Old English words meaning exactly the same thing (to expel breath). Heaving a sigh to express intense emotion, especially amatory longing or grief, was current from about 1700 on.
See also: of, sigh
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
He came to her relief with a fixed despair of himself which made the interview unlike any other that could have been holden.
One's gaze went with infinite relief from the scorched greys and sullen reds of the foreground to the blue-green softness of the eastward hills.
Another man, who had also been watching Dorset Rouse from the gardens for several hours, also noted Lucille's advent with relief. He followed the Prince out and entered another hansom.
From 1960 to 1971, Lee Bontecou showed consistently at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, where her large-scale wall reliefs were admired by critics and collectors alike.
I don't in any way intend to demean the unparalleled power of Bontecou's jutting wall reliefs, her most famous works.
The most controversial part of the book is that devoted to a series of reliefs of mythological subjects, the lion's share of which Schulz assigns to Mosca instead of the traditional attribution to Antonio Lombardo.
While several of his works are documented -- including the most important, the relief of the Unbroken Goblet, which forms part of the decoration of St.
It began with Tullio Lombardo at the turn of the sixteenth century, and Luchs focuses her study on two enigmatic reliefs by the sculptor, one of which is in the Ca' d'Oro, Venice, and the other in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Her discussion of Tullio's career furthermore lays the groundwork for situating the portrait reliefs within his oeuvre and allows the tentative dating of the pieces that follow.
Undogmatically utilizing reception theory and, in particular, concepts reflected in the writings of Richard Brilliant, Vidya Dehejia, and Jack Greenstein, Gibbons addresses the levels of seeing and reading inherent in the reliefs as they may be viewed by a beholder who traverses space, shifts viewpoint, and responds to the scenes with culturally and religiously predetermined knowledge.
HALF of the local authorities in Wales did not issue any business rates hardship relief in the past three years, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Wales.