assuage

verb
as·​suage | \ ə-ˈswāj also -ˈswāzh or -ˈswäzh How to pronounce assuage (audio) \
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 How to pronounce assuagement (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for assuage

Synonyms

allay, alleviate, ease, help, mitigate, mollify, palliate, relieve, soothe

Antonyms

aggravate, exacerbate

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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

Yet nominating a candidate just to assuage this group comes with a trade-off. The Economist, "The best line in the first televised debate may hurt the Democrats," 4 July 2019 Perhaps a knighthood will help assuage that nagging doubt. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Ralph Lauren's Whole Family Wore Coordinated Tuxedos to See Him Be Knighted at Buckingham Palace," 20 June 2019 This move, announced Tuesday on the first day of Facebook's annual f8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., is meant to help assuage fears about its data collecting regimen. USA TODAY, "Facebook to let you know what websites and apps track you online," 1 May 2018 Even with his title at stake later in the week, Jermall assuaged Jermell's concerns about having to be alone for his fight. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Jermall Charlo will start fight week by supporting twin brother Jermell in Las Vegas," 19 June 2019 Old-time religion fails to assuage shame over his yearnings and abuse. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Coming-of-age story packs an emotional wallop with its premiere at opera festival," 18 June 2019 Many artists, and their managers, however, would not be assuaged by the argument that digital copies exist — even though that statement itself was misleading as far as how much of the materials stored at the Hollywood facility had been backed up. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Report: Universal Music Group covered up destruction of irreplaceable master tapes in 2008 fire," 12 June 2019 Many artists, and their managers, however, would not be assuaged by the argument that digital copies exist — even though that statement itself was misleading as far as how much of the materials stored at the Hollywood facility had been backed up. Randy Lewis, latimes.com, "Report: Universal Music Group covered up destruction of irreplaceable master tapes in 2008 fire," 11 June 2019 Ultimately the efforts at restraint failed to assuage the U.S. Senate, which rebuffed Trump administration appeals and voted this month to cut off U.S. support for the war. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "Mattis, U.S. Commander Sought to Temper Saudi-Led War in Yemen," 31 Dec. 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

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for assuage

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

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More Definitions for assuage

assuage

verb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assuage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assuage

Spanish Central: Translation of assuage

Nglish: Translation of assuage for Spanish Speakers

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