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 That commitment could assuage concerns in the Biden camp that he might be overshadowed by a running mate positioning herself to succeed him. Jonathan Martin, Star Tribune, "Lobbying intensifies among VP candidates as Biden's search nears an end," 31 July 2020 Representatives from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment attempted to assuage those concerns, noting that anyone who releases confidential information is subject to misdemeanor criminal charges. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "New vaccine bill draws crowd of 600 at Colorado Capitol," 19 Feb. 2020 Her answer — that the 144-year-old statue would be preserved in another location — did nothing to assuage him. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, "For Eleanor Holmes Norton, new urgency for long-fought battles," 10 July 2020 Amgen acquired Otezla last year from Celgene, which had to sell off the drug to assuage antitrust regulators reviewing its merger with Bristol Myers Squibb. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Amgen CEO is ‘optimistic’ about COVID-19 clinical trials," 7 July 2020 Organizers are trying to assuage vexed Republicans who collectively gave millions of dollars for a Charlotte event that has mostly been scrapped. Rebecca R. Ruiz, BostonGlobe.com, "How the Republican convention created money woes in two cities," 4 July 2020 Perhaps that talent can assuage the Lakers’ other question marks. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Anthony Davis says he's '100 percent healthy,' Lakers' title chances higher after hiatus," 3 July 2020 To assuage some of that concern, the agency released a guidance that outlines conditions for approving a vaccine. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Trump officials maintain Covid-19 vaccine won’t be influenced by politics; Novartis pays $678 million to settle kickback charges," 2 July 2020 Calm medical explanations did nothing to assuage the son’s anxiety. Monique Brouillette, Scientific American, "Hospitals Experiment with COVID-19 Treatments, Balancing Hope and Evidence," 29 June 2020

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

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assuage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assuage. Accessed 15 Aug. 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

Spanish Central: Translation of assuage

Nglish: Translation of assuage for Spanish Speakers

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