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Lenitive first appeared in English in the 15th century. It derived from the Latin verb lenire ("to soften or soothe"), which was itself formed from the adjective lenis, meaning "soft" or "mild." "Lenire" also gave us the adjective "lenient," which usually means "tolerant" or "indulgent" today but in its original sense carried the meaning of "relieving pain or stress." Often found in medical contexts, "lenitive" can also be a noun referring to a treatment (such as a salve) with soothing or healing properties.
Origin of lenitive
Middle English lenitif, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin lenitivus, from Latin lenitus, past participle of lenire
First Known Use: 15th century
Rhymes with lenitive
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Medical Dictionary: Definition of "lenitive"
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