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 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 2006But 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 2005Whatever 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 2004As 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 See More
Recent Examples on the WebMacron, meanwhile, is widely viewed in central Europe as having courted the Kremlin over the years, as well as overplaying his hand during the run-up to the Ukraine invasion by seeking to personally assuage Putin in Moscow.
Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2022 In some old Andean cultures, child sacrifice was meant to assuage the gods in times when severe changes in the weather caused droughts.
Brian T. Allen, National Review, 5 Mar. 2022 Cyprus sought to assuage such concerns by insisting only Cypriot technicians would operate the systems once they were delivered.
Paul Iddon, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 In Poland, where electricity is largely generated with coal, not gas, the government sought to assuage any public fears.
New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Marcon’s government tried to assuage voters’ inflation concerns by setting aside $15.5 billion euros ($17.6 billion) to cap electricity and natural gas costs.
Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 24 Apr. 2022 Cubs second baseman Nick Madrigal also tried to assuage Suzuki’s cold-weather concerns.
Meghan Montemurro, chicagotribune.com, 20 Mar. 2022 Rawlinson sought to assuage investors that Lucid's stalling output growth was nothing but a temporary hiccup.
Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 1 Mar. 2022 Thus, West German officials—who were interested, most of all, in securing Moscow’s consent on reunification—were tempted to assuage it on the NATO question.
Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 25 Jan. 2022 See More
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.