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 The uniformity could assuage those who liken hemp to its federally illicit cousin and have either steered away from working with hemp businesses or tried to ban hemp products. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "Hemp is legal. Here comes the tricky part," 1 Nov. 2019 Uncertainty about Urquidy’s wherewithal was assuaged. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros blast Nationals in Game 4 to level World Series," 26 Oct. 2019 Victories over the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns assuaged some concerns. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: USC outclasses Arizona," 20 Oct. 2019 The commissioners tried to assuage attendees with a promise to take back all of their concerns to the full board on Sept. 16. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Leave Shelter Island alone’ — community rejects port’s changes to waterfront areas," 29 Aug. 2019 While a representative from Life Time Athletic did not speak, Hassan tried to assuage worries. Jesse Wright, chicagotribune.com, "Burr Ridge Village Center residents raise parking concerns as Life Time Athletic plans office rentals," 13 Aug. 2019 After his first victory in 2014, Modi tried to assuage critics by waxing poetic on economic development and strides in renewable energy projects. Fortune, "What is Article 370?," 8 Aug. 2019 The focus on global warming likely won't be enough to assuage environmentalists, who have demanded that Democratic leaders hold a climate-only debate. Mark K. Matthews, Scientific American, "Climate Comes Up at Democratic Debate, But with Few New Details," 27 June 2019 The Business Roundtable statement may be seen as an effort to assuage political pressure for broad business reforms from the likes of Sens. Los Angeles Times, "Profits for shareholders can’t be companies’ main goal, top CEOs say," 19 Aug. 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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Statistics for assuage

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

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
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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