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Meaning of comic relief

com'ic relief'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. an amusing scene, incident, or speech introduced into serious or tragic elements, as in a play, in order to provide temporary relief from tension, or to intensify the dramatic action.
  2. relief from tension caused by the introduction or occurrence of a comic element, as by an amusing human foible.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.