mel·​low | \ ˈme-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce mellow (audio) \

Definition of mellow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a of a fruit : tender and sweet because of ripeness
b of a wine : well aged and pleasingly mild
2a : made gentle by age or experience She was a tough and demanding teacher, but she became mellow in her old age.
b : rich and full but free from garishness or stridency the mellow tones of an old violin
c : warmed and relaxed by or as if by liquor After a few drinks we felt pretty mellow.
d : pleasant, agreeable He was in a mellow mood.
e : laid-back mellow background music
3 of soil : having a soft and loamy consistency


mellowed; mellowing; mellows

Definition of mellow (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become mellow often used with out

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Other Words from mellow


mellowly adverb
mellowness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for mellow

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of mellow in a Sentence

Adjective The painting captures the mellow light of a summer evening. This wine is very mellow. He was in a mellow mood. She was a tough and demanding teacher, but she became mellower in her old age. He's a very mellow guy. After a couple of drinks we all started feeling pretty mellow. Verb She was a tough and demanding teacher, but she has mellowed in her old age. The wine needs time to mellow. She was a tough and demanding teacher, but old age has mellowed her.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Here, too, the rivers of people were well behaved—even the drunks seemed mellow—and with a multitude of cops on hand the squad of Angels was perhaps superfluous. Bruce Handy, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021 Where the Chezchez Coastal Martini is nutty and mellow, the Laurel Martini is bracing, the sort of drink that wakes you up like a jolt of cold ocean air. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Sep. 2021 Coriander seeds have a much more mellow flavor than the fresh leaves of the plant, a.k.a. cilantro. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 For a more mellow, unpretentious take on the area's roaring après scene, sip on a beer and play a game of pool at Zane's Tavern in Snowmass Village or order a margarita and table-side guac at Venga Venga. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 25 Sep. 2021 And yet here’s the novel itself, and it’s a mellow, marzipan-hued ’70s-era heartbreaker. New York Times, 27 Sep. 2021 Its flavors are mellow and gentle, almost like congee if it were made of eggs instead of rice. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Sep. 2021 Alongside fine bourbon, the Fuente is a mellow digestif. Amy Drew Thompson,, 5 Sep. 2021 The mindset drastically shifts from the mellow, relaxed last few weeks of August to becoming serious-minded and career-focused. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 4 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It's made with organic citrus, peppers, ginger, and the ancient Mayan herb damiana, to mellow you out while your taste buds tap dance. Amber Love Bond, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 The goal, Fletcher said, is to get some of the oxidation and esterification reactions that will mellow the whiskey, but slow down the wood interaction and evaporation rates. Gina Pace, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Don’t be afraid to try robust varieties as all garlic will sweeten and mellow when cooked. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 Aug. 2021 Both ingredients help mellow out some of whole wheat’s more bitter undertones and tenderize the loaf, as well. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2021 Temperatures should mellow into the 60s again by late April. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 8 Apr. 2021 But temperatures will mellow as soon as Thursday before another cold frontal passage over the weekend. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 19 Apr. 2021 Twenty-nine years is a long time, long enough to mellow — or to learn from experience how to guard your presentation on camera. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 5 Mar. 2021 Available in three configurations — two seats, three seats and three seats with a chaise that can move to either side — the piece comes in five hues, ranging from bold (a saffron yellow) to mellow (a creamy oat). Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, 26 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mellow.' 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 mellow


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1575, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for mellow

Adjective and Verb

Middle English melowe

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Time Traveler for mellow

Time Traveler

The first known use of mellow was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near mellow



mellow bug

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Statistics for mellow

Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mellow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for mellow



English Language Learners Definition of mellow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: pleasantly rich, full, or soft : not harsh, bright, or irritating
: having a pleasing rich flavor that develops over time
: very calm and relaxed



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

: to become or to cause (someone or something) to become less harsh, irritating, nervous, etc.


mel·​low | \ ˈme-lō How to pronounce mellow (audio) \

Kids Definition of mellow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fully ripe or mature a mellow peach
2 : made mild by age
3 : being clear, full, and pure : not harsh a mellow sound a mellow color
4 : very calm and relaxed After dinner, we began to feel mellow.

Other Words from mellow

mellowness noun


mellowed; mellowing

Kids Definition of mellow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become mild or relaxed especially over time

More from Merriam-Webster on mellow

Nglish: Translation of mellow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mellow for Arabic Speakers


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