\ˈēz \

Definition of ease 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the state of being comfortable: such as

a : freedom from pain or discomfort

b : freedom from care

c : freedom from labor or difficulty

d : freedom from embarrassment or constraint : naturalness known for his charm and ease of manner

e : an easy fit

2 : relief from discomfort or obligation

3 : facility, effortlessness did it with ease

4 : an act of easing or a state of being eased

at ease

1 : free from pain or discomfort

2a : free from restraint or formality feels most at ease with old friends

b : standing silently (as in a military formation) with the feet apart, the right foot in place, and one or both hands behind the body often used as a command


eased; easing

Definition of ease (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to free from something that pains, disquiets, or burdens trying to ease her of her worries

2 : to make less painful : alleviate ease his suffering

3a : to lessen the pressure or tension of especially by slackening, lifting, or shifting ease a spring

b : to maneuver gently or carefully eased himself into the chair

c : to moderate or reduce especially in amount or intensity ease a flow

4 : to make less difficult ease credit

5a : to put the helm of (a ship) alee

b : to let (a helm or rudder) come back a little after having been put hard over

intransitive verb

1 : to give freedom or relief

2 : to move or pass slowly or easily often used with a directional word (such as over or up) the limo eased up in front of the house

3a : to become less intense, vigorous, or engaged : become moderate usually used with up or off told her staff to ease up a littleexpected the storm to ease offease up on fatty foods

b : to apply less pressure usually used with up or off ease up on the accelerator

c : to act in a less harsh manner usually used with up or off decided to ease off on enforcement

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ease


easeful \ˈēz-​fəl \ adjective
easefully \ˈēz-​fə-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for ease

Synonyms: Noun

alleviation, comfort, release, relief

Synonyms: Verb

facilitate, grease, loosen (up), smooth, unclog

Antonyms: Verb


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ease in a Sentence


the sunburn medication brought me instant ease a gymnast who can handle even the most demanding moves on the parallel bars with total ease


trying to ease my troubled mind The diplomats failed to ease tensions between the two nations. Authorities are looking for ways to ease prison overcrowding. The government is expected to ease travel restrictions.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her casual, easy-going attire helps the contestants feel at ease and lets their handicrafts shine. Lourdes Avila Uribe, Glamour, "Amy Poehler's Making It Overalls Are the Only Pure Thing Left in the World," 16 Oct. 2018 Some are candid, but in many the subject acknowledges the photographer and is yet at ease; this takes considerable skill. William Meyers, WSJ, "What to Give: Books About Photography," 15 Nov. 2018 Sometimes white noise isn’t enough to put you at ease. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "10 Campers Share How They Get a Good Night's Sleep in the Wilderness," 4 Nov. 2018 But its ease for travel more than makes up for it, and getting the motions down is pretty easy after a few initial test runs. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Benefit's New Clicky Pen Is the Secret to Easy Instagram Brows," 7 Aug. 2018 Nate Orf finally made it to the big leagues Monday, allowing the #FreeNateOrf movement to celebrate, not to mention stand at ease. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Notes: Nate Orf gets first call to big leagues; Brewers option reliever Aaron Wilkerson," 2 July 2018 So when approaching a stranger, a smile can grease the social wheels of the interaction and help the other person feel at ease. Samuel Putnam, Washington Post, "Russians don’t smile much, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like you," 30 June 2018 Skinner, who is forty-seven, is short and bald, with a trim beard, Arctic-blue eyes, and a magnetic social energy that has the effect of putting people around him at ease. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The Spy Who Came Home," 30 Apr. 2018 So anthems chase those memories with memories of their own: love, ease, abandon. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Childish Gambino and the Search for the Summer Anthem," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But most people find that distracting themselves can help ease that anxiety. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: Tetris is a great distraction for easing an anxious mind," 2 Nov. 2018 The drop suggests that inflationary pressures may be easing despite the strength of the U.S. economy. Paul Wiseman, Fox News, "US producer prices dip 0.1 percent in August," 12 Sep. 2018 What didn't help ease the pain for some was having former Chew star Carla Hall on Monday's premiere episode after ABC axed her past gig. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'GMA Day' Brought on Carla Hall for First Day and 'The Chew' Fans Lost Their Minds," 10 Sep. 2018 But for now, many of the villages seem to be easing into their new economies. Zandie Brockett, Condé Nast Traveler, "China's Southern Guizhou Region Is Like a Land Lost in Time," 24 Aug. 2018 In other words, blueberries may help ease muscle soreness. NBC News, "8 summer superfoods to eat after a tough workout," 11 July 2018 That likely helps ease any pain Hoskins might be feeling. Noel Harris, sacbee, "'Oh, my God. Is my jaw OK?' How an outfield wall got the upper hand on Rhys Hoskins," 10 July 2018 The idea to is ease the burden on astronauts in space, where life can get tough and tedious, but not ever supplant them, or their decisions, officials said. Christian Davenport, chicagotribune.com, "SpaceX sends AI robot named CIMON to the International Space Station," 29 June 2018 The one man who appears to be easing the country’s frustration and heartache is Mohamed Salah, who seems to be getting unconditional love from back home. Washington Post, "Love for Salah offers refuge from Egypt’s World Cup exit," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ease.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ease


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for ease


Middle English ese, from Anglo-French eise, aise convenience, comfort, ultimately from Latin adjacent-, adjacens neighboring — more at adjacent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ease

Dictionary Entries near ease








Statistics for ease

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ease

The first known use of ease was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ease



English Language Learners Definition of ease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: freedom from pain or trouble : comfort of body or mind

: lack of difficulty

: a relaxed and informal way of behaving



English Language Learners Definition of ease (Entry 2 of 2)

: to free (someone or something) from trouble or worry

: to make (something) less painful

: to make (tension, a problem, etc.) less severe or troubling


\ˈēz \

Kids Definition of ease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : freedom from pain or trouble : comfort of body or mind a life of ease

2 : lack of difficulty … a thief might get in with perfect ease— Washington Irving, “Sleepy Hollow”

3 : freedom from any feeling of difficulty or embarrassment She spoke with ease.


eased; easing

Kids Definition of ease (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to free from discomfort or worry : relieve This medicine will ease the pain.

2 : to make less tight : loosen She eased up on the rope.

3 : to move very carefully He eased himself into the driver's seat.


\ˈēz \
eased; easing

Medical Definition of ease 

transitive verb

1 : to free from something that pains, disquiets, or burdens eased and comforted the sick

2 : to take away or lessen : alleviate took an aspirin to ease the pain

intransitive verb

: to give freedom or relief (as from pain or discomfort) a hot bath often eases and relaxes

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ease

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ease

Spanish Central: Translation of ease

Nglish: Translation of ease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ease for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ease

What made you want to look up ease? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!