as·suage | \ ə-ˈswāj also -ˈswāzh or -ˈswäzh \
assuaged; assuaging

Definition of assuage 

transitive verb

1 : to lessen the intensity of (something that pains or distresses) : ease unable to assuage their grief

2 : pacify, quiet … vainly strove … to assuage an implacable foe … —Edward Gibbon

3 : to put an end to by satisfying : appease, quench assuaging his thirst

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Other words from assuage

assuagement \-mənt \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for assuage

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable. took an aspirin to relieve the pain alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. the lotion alleviated the itching lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight. good news would lighten our worries assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable. ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful. the need to mitigate barbaric laws allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms. allayed their fears

assuage Stays Sweet Over Time

Scholars assume that the word assuage derives from assuaviare, a Vulgar Latin term that combines the prefix ad- (to or toward) and the Latin suavis, meaning "sweet," pleasant, or agreeable. (Suavis is also the source of the adjective suave.) To assuage is to sweeten or make agreeable or tolerable, and it is far from the only English word for relieving or softening something difficult. Others include allay, alleviate, and mitigate. Allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms, while alleviate implies a temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. Mitigate suggests moderating or countering the force or intensity of something painful.

Examples of assuage in a Sentence

Life contains sorrows that cannot be assuaged, and it is important to be honest in acknowledging this. —Jo McGowan, Commonweal, 5 May 2006 But for the second exam, my pretest diet included yogurt and ice cream (without pieces), which assuaged my hunger, and the cleansing was stimulated by a glass of salty liquid midafternoon. —Jane E. Brody, New York Times, 12 July 2005 Whatever arrangements such mothers willingly make for their children, whatever strategies they employ to relieve their guilt, whatever books they read to assuage their anxiety—all of that is their business, not mine. —Caitlin Flanagan, Atlantic, March 2004 As I've told Jody on numerous occasions, the best way for her to assuage my guilt is to hit it big in the Internet gold rush and then retire … —Matthew Miller, New Republic, 17 Jan. 2000 He couldn't assuage his guilt over the divorce. a mother cooing to her toddler and assuaging his fear of the dark
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Recent Examples on the Web

His initial uncertainty about his identity is assuaged. The Economist, "A British traveller’s travelogue," 12 July 2018 Schools are trying to bring teachers up to speed with active-shooter trainings and drills—protocols that can simultaneously assuage and exacerbate fears. Ashley Lamb-sinclair, The Atlantic, "Teaching While Afraid," 22 Feb. 2018 In an appearance on ESPN2’s signing day coverage on Wednesday, Edwards didn’t do anything to assuage doubts about his qualifications as a Power 5 head coach in 2018. Chris Johnson,, "National Signing Day 2018: Winners and Losers From the Fax Machine Frenzy," 7 Feb. 2018 Many people like Danny Meyer have tried to assuage it. Kara Baskin,, "Getting Salty with Mary-Catherine Deibel," 18 June 2018 To assuage these fears, Trump had his people send letters to FIFA guaranteeing that his policies would not impact players, soccer administrators or fans coming to America in 2026, according to the New York Times. Scott Ostler,, "Thank Trump for overcoming the biggest obstacle to 2026 World Cup: Trump," 16 June 2018 The Europeans fought desperately to assuage Mr Trump’s concerns, and earned only humiliation. The Economist, "Europe has few good options for dealing with Donald Trump," 17 May 2018 Aiming to assuage Israel's concerns, the United States and Russia agreed last year to establish a cease-fire between Syrian government forces and rebel fighters near the southwestern Syrian town of Daraa. Anchorage Daily News, "Israel carries out ‘large-scale attack’ in Syria after Israeli jet crashes under anti-aircraft fire," 11 Feb. 2018 The Court is sympathetic to the parents of the child and their desire to assuage their child. Serena Sonoma, Teen Vogue, "A Transgender Teen's Parents Are Appealing a Judge's Decision That He Can't Change His Name," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assuage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of assuage

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assuage

Middle English aswagen, from Anglo-French asuager, from Vulgar Latin *assuaviare, from Latin ad- + suavis sweet — more at sweet

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Statistics for assuage

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assuage

The first known use of assuage was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for assuage



English Language Learners Definition of assuage

: to make (something, such as an unpleasant feeling) less painful, severe, etc.


as·suage | \ ə-ˈswāj \
assuaged; assuaging

Kids Definition of assuage

: to make less severe or intense assuage pain assuaged her grief

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Comments on assuage

What made you want to look up assuage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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