Definition of comic relief in English:

comic relief


mass noun
  • 1Humorous content in a dramatic or literary work intended to offset more serious episodes.

    ‘between tragic stories are a few songs supplying comic relief’
    • ‘If there is such a thing as comic relief in an already funny show, this was it.’
    • ‘The creative rationale for this storyline is comic relief.’
    • ‘… ‘People complained a lot about Gimli just being there for comic relief,’ continued Wilcox.’
    • ‘This is why Shakespeare inserted comic relief in his tragedies, and it's why human beings today will often resort to ‘gallows humor’ at a fatal shooting scene.’
    • ‘I should add that a good auction is almost like theater - there's suspense, drama, and often comic relief.’
    • ‘It uses moments of slapstick to deliver comic relief where none is warranted.’
    • ‘There are elements of classic comic relief throughout Barker's interlocking tales.’
    • ‘Moments of deeply affecting emotion are balanced by bursts of comic relief, allowing the script to stay buoyant and the characters to remain real.’
    • ‘However, this translated more into a vehicle for comic relief throughout the film than a serious threat.’
    • ‘Along the way we'll meet some good cops, some bad street thugs, some comic relief and of course lots of things getting blown up.’
    • ‘As it is a crime drama, the home scene is used for comic relief and only slightly to reveal backstory about one of the main characters.’
    • ‘But, like a Shakespearean tragedy, occasional instances of comic relief are provided, too.’
    • ‘Despite its less-than-uplifting message, the film escapes self-conscious drama hell through well-timed comic relief.’
    • ‘This could have the potential to be distracting, but in this presentation it fits into the feel of the play and either adds to the drama or provides comic relief.’
    • ‘They want the full, three-generation saga, the life story, with full-throttle melodrama and comic relief, with fights and beautiful sets and aching, soulful stares.’
    • ‘I did, however, find comic relief in this part of the book.’
    • ‘Presumably, the intent is for these exchanges to add a little comic relief, but even a bad stand-up comedian would stay away from this material.’
    • ‘Intended for comic relief, the song and dance numbers come across as uninspired and robotic.’
    • ‘This episode is played for comic relief, and it works somewhat well.’
    • ‘Apparently, he's a hilarious raconteur on stage, and indeed, the album could use a bit of comic relief in moments when the drama gets slightly overwrought.’
    1. 1.1 A character or characters providing comic relief.
      ‘the archaeologist, who begins as oafish comic relief, exemplifies her gift for character drawing’
      • ‘He's all the comic relief the film needs.’
      • ‘Cathleen, the maid, contributes comic relief.’
      • ‘I don't know if his character was supposed to be comic relief or creepy, but whatever it was, it sure felt a hell of a lot like overacting.’
      • ‘She's the comic relief, or the shoulder to cry on.’
      • ‘Dallas Smith elevates his character way beyond comic relief.’
      • ‘There's also a great deal of comic relief in the form of eccentric and quotable marginal characters.’
      • ‘Lee includes secondary characters who are on hand for comic relief, and one of the battles leavens the action with laughter.’
      • ‘Somewhere along the line the scriptwriters took this character and decided that he would be good as comic relief.’
      • ‘The only weak addition is that of Eve's tippling brother, Martin, whose presence is probably intended as comic relief, but whom I found annoying.’
      • ‘Here she's just a shrill little character that is supposed to be comic relief.’
      • ‘In this performance you watch a character who first appears to be comic relief, reveal layer upon layer of humanity until she seems more real than the person in the seat next to you.’
      • ‘Rather than have one character pop up in the story for the inevitable comic relief, every supporting character (with the exception of Lucy's father) fights for the honour.’
      • ‘They tend to be an intense, evil icon or comic relief.’
      • ‘On the other hand, he's good for a bit of wisdom or comic relief, so his character isn't a total waste.’
      • ‘Sprinkled in for comic relief are a few offbeat characters, such as a pistol-packing police chief who duels with a mechanical gunslinger in his office closet for spontaneous rounds of target practice.’


comic relief

/ˌkɒmɪk rɪˈliːf/