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 Event leaders acquiesced, requiring black suffragists to march in the back of the parade to assuage the feelings of white women in the movement who did not want them there. Nsenga K. Burton, USA TODAY, "These 19 black women fought for voting rights," 8 Feb. 2020 Officials struggling to contain the virus are also now battling to assuage public anger. The Economist, "Mourning for a medic Li Wenliang’s death is a new crisis for China’s rulers," 7 Feb. 2020 Many businesses are still pulling back on investment and say Trump's truce with China does little to assuage their anxiety. Rachel Siegel, Anchorage Daily News, "Women outnumber men in the American workforce, for only the second time in history," 11 Jan. 2020 Many businesses are still pulling back on investment and say Trump’s truce with China does little to assuage their anxiety. Dallas News, "Women outnumber men in U.S. workforce for only the second time in history," 10 Jan. 2020 Many businesses are still pulling back on investment and say Trump’s truce with China does little to assuage their anxiety. Washington Post, "Economy adds 145,000 jobs in December as unemployment rate remains at 3.5 percent," 10 Jan. 2020 Religious leaders in Greenville already have been working together to assuage the tensions that often accompany gentrification, Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro told JTA. Ben Sales And Laura E. Adkins, sun-sentinel.com, "Jersey City’s Jewish community left reeling in shooting’s aftermath," 12 Dec. 2019 In a recent policy address, Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam rolled out some relief measures, such as transport subsidies and easier access to mortgages in a bid to assuage public anger. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s government blames “social incidents” for tipping the economy into a deep recession," 31 Oct. 2019 But his resignation looks unlikely to assuage protesters, who seek nothing less than the removal of the entire system, as the country’s economy teeters on the brink of collapse. Rebecca Collard / Beirut, Time, "Lebanon's Saad Hariri Has Resigned. But Protesters Still Aren't Content," 30 Oct. 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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Statistics for assuage

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assuage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assuage?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=a&file=assuag01. Accessed 21 Feb. 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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