The Kneeling man almost fell over in his haste to obey. His face was pockmarked; the scars were thrown into relief by the candlelight. He remained a little stooped when standing, as though halfway through a bow, and he darted terrified looks up at Harry's face.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I don't quite understand what it means by "the scars were thrown into relief by the candlelight". Any thoughts?


It means that it was made very obvious or very visible. I believe this actually comes from relief as a sort of sculpture or other art form, which is the same sense of relief as in relief map, a map that shows differences in height above sea level in some way. Essentially, it's saying that the scar was made to stand out, figuratively and perhaps literally, looking more three-dimensional than it usually does.

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