assuage

verb
as·​suage | \ ə-ˈswāj How to pronounce assuage (audio) 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 \ ə-​ˈswāj-​mənt How to pronounce assuagement (audio) also  -​ˈswāzh-​ or  -​ˈswäzh-​ \ 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 But initial reports that there were no US casualties from the attack have since assuaged investors' fears that the strike will result in yet more escalation. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "US investors quickly shake off Iran's missile strikes," 8 Jan. 2020 In the video of Haywood's interview with police, the detective appeared to assuage Haywood’s fears that he’d be recognized by telling him the domestic violence shelter was a place where suspects are never questioned. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A powerful Milwaukee real estate developer accused of sexual assault was questioned at a shelter instead of the police station," 20 Dec. 2019 But the ballot language is meant to assuage any fears the tax money might go to the project, anyway. Hannah K. Sparling, Cincinnati.com, "Metro sales tax: Here’s the ballot language for the March election and what it tells us," 9 Dec. 2019 That is thought to assuage their fear of abandonment. The Economist, "Turkey’s Syria move highlights America’s tactical nukes in Europe," 28 Nov. 2019 On Tuesday, Westminster Abbey tweeted to explain its fire plan in-depth, hoping to assuage fears about its safety. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "MPs Warn that the U.K.'s Parliament Building is Vulnerable to a Notre-Dame-Like Fire," 17 Apr. 2019 That has pushed the dollar lower, helping support a rebound in emerging markets and commodities, and assuaged investors’ fears about the global economy. Corrie Driebusch And Riva Gold, WSJ, "Stocks Slip but Close Week With Gains," 11 Jan. 2019 Amer Randell, 49, an 8th grade social studies teacher at DSST:Conservatory Green Middle School in Denver, points out that this approach can also help assuage any resistance to teaching the subject. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "As More States Require Schools to Teach LGBTQ History, Resources for Teachers Expand," 13 Dec. 2019 One of the chief goals was to assuage concerns among fishermen who worry that an uncoordinated array of hundreds of towers would make the waters hard to navigate — effectively displacing them from rich fishing grounds. BostonGlobe.com, "Persuading fishermen to toe the line could be crucial to the nascent industry’s survival. Construction was about to begin on what would have been the first major offshore wind farm in the US until Interior Secretary David Bernhardt," 20 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for assuage

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

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Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assuage.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assuage. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for assuage

assuage

verb
How to pronounce assuage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of assuage

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

assuage

verb
as·​suage | \ ə-ˈswāj How to pronounce assuage (audio) \
assuaged; assuaging

Kids Definition of assuage

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on assuage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assuage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assuage

Spanish Central: Translation of assuage

Nglish: Translation of assuage for Spanish Speakers

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