\ ˈēz How to pronounce ease (audio) \

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 offtold 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 offease up on the accelerator
c : to act in a less harsh manner usually used with up or offdecided to ease off on enforcement

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Other Words from ease


easeful \ ˈēz-​fəl How to pronounce easeful (audio) \ adjective
easefully \ ˈēz-​fə-​lē How to pronounce easefully (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for ease

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of ease in a Sentence

Noun the sunburn medication brought me instant ease a gymnast who can handle even the most demanding moves on the parallel bars with total ease Verb 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But traditional control surfaces require external seams that radar can detect with relative ease. Eric Tegler, Scientific American, "The Next DARPA X-Plane Won’t Maneuver like Any Plane Before It," 9 Jan. 2020 The Patriots embarrassed this team, 43-0, in Week 2, and while Flores has done a remarkable job building a program, this is a team the Patriots should have defeated with relative ease. BostonGlobe.com, "So much for the idea Patriots would surge into the postseason - The Boston Globe," 31 Dec. 2019 Locked in a hotly contested game against the Edmonton Oilers, Wild fourth liner Marcus Foligno uncorked a blistering wrist shot and beat goaltender Mike Smith with relative ease. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Wild fourth line changing the perception: ‘There’s a lot of skill there’," 14 Dec. 2019 Though painful for the people who lost their homes, the process was made easier by a concerted city effort to cut fees and reduce paperwork so houses could move forward with relative ease. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Santa Rosa wants developers to build downtown housing. They’re not so sure," 8 Dec. 2019 The body yearns for something nourishing to put it at ease. Sable Yong, Allure, "I Took the Longest Flight in the World to Experience Its Built-In Wellness Center," 28 Dec. 2019 Spike Jonze’s strange romance, Her, starring Scarlett Johannson as an operating system and Joaquin Phoenix as a sensitive, heartbroken man in high-waisted pants, leaps over that pitfall with ease. Wired Staff, Wired, "The 24 Absolute Best Movies of the 2010s," 26 Dec. 2019 Representatives should not be comfortable and at ease because defending the Constitution requires uncomfortable, difficult decisions. Washington Post, "Nancy Pelosi’s pin at the impeachment debate was a declaration: The republic will survive this," 18 Dec. 2019 In another survey, less than a third of full-time workers felt at ease about asking for support around their own mental health at work, and only one in four were comfortable talking to their company’s HR and senior leaders on the topic. Bonnie Azoulay, Health.com, "How to Talk About Your Mental Illness at Work," 16 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sometimes, American officials secretly communicated with General Suleimani in an effort to ease tensions in Iraq. Tim Arango, New York Times, "Qassim Suleimani, Master of Iran’s Intrigue, Built a Shiite Axis of Power in Mideast," 3 Jan. 2020 He’s taken big swings on proposals to ease the city’s transportation woes. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg making headway on second-term agenda but running afoul of natural allies," 31 Dec. 2019 Certain sectors, such as industrials and financials, that are most sensitive to the business cycle may get an additional boost if trade tensions continue to ease. Shawn Snyder For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Investors should be optimistic about stocks in 2020," 31 Dec. 2019 The Fed will expand its balance-sheet again to ease the cash shortage and ensure the transmission of its monetary policy through the financial system. The Economist, "The World in 2020 Prepare for an unusual kind of downturn," 30 Dec. 2019 This shampoo, which Paul Cellura, MD, dermatologist at Tribeca Skin Center in New York City likes, relies on one percent coal tar to ease flaking and scalp irritation associated with seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff and scalp psoriasis. Gideon Grudo, NBC News, "The most purchased beauty products we covered this holiday season," 29 Dec. 2019 To really ease traffic, Musk needs to find an option that moves people away from their cars entirely, instead of just speeding up part of their journey. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Elon Musk’s tunnels could fix congestion. But not in the way you’d expect," 29 Dec. 2019 Qualifying families facing eviction in Housing Court will have an advocate who can negotiate terms to help them stay in their residence or to ease transition to new quarters. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "What will top the news from Cleveland City Hall in 2020? Poverty relief, environment and a mayoral race," 29 Dec. 2019 On the agenda was a proposal to divert $1.5 million in state taxpayer money intended to ease jail overcrowding to other priorities of the local sheriff’s office. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "California Gave Billions in Taxpayer Dollars to Improve Jails. But That’s Not How These Sheriffs Are Spending It.," 28 Dec. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for ease

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ease

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ease.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/easefully. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for ease


How to pronounce ease (audio)

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 How to pronounce ease (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ease (audio) \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ease

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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