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

euphonious, lyric, lyrical, mellifluent, mellifluous, melodic, melodious, musical

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of mellow in a Sentence


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.


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

The smooth hybrid of reggae and rock performed by Sublime with Rome idealizes the mellow Southern California lifestyle. kansascity, "KC concerts June 6-12: Luis Miguel, Billie Eilish, Sublime with Rome, Snarky Puppy," 4 June 2019 Her profile is a mix of mellow images, workouts, and motivational quotes. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Unfollowed William & Kate Middleton on Instagram," 2 May 2019 Some people just really love Halloween and are crafty, and creative Pinterest goddesses with mellow, smushy children who don’t mind being nestled into dinosaur or giraffe costumes. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Are You Dressing Your Kids for Halloween—or for Instagram?," 30 Oct. 2018 However, the investigators did find a pipe and a jar of Purple Widow cannabis—a strain thought to mellow depression—and a refrigerator stocked with lunch meat, fresh beef, hot dogs, and chicken. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Two White Moms. Six Black Kids. One Unthinkable Tragedy. A Look Inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart Family," 6 Sep. 2018 Northern Lights Campout Music Party Hang out and enjoy ambient, mellow chamber music by Ólafur Arnalds, performed by CNM curator and violinist, Julia Ogrydziak, and friends. San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 24 May 2018 This allows ingredients in one bin to age and mellow while materials are being added to a second bin. Lee Reich, The Seattle Times, "Fall is the perfect time to build a compost bin," 16 Oct. 2018 The mellow introspective song, by lead singer and guitarist Dewey Bunnell, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s pop chart, and sent the band’s eponymous album to No. Marc Myers, WSJ, "On the Journey to ‘A Horse With No Name’," 16 July 2018 This cute, mellow song has a slight reggae beat and is just light and fun and summery. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Viva Friday Playlist: The Best New Latin Music From Bad Bunny, Silvestre Dangond & More," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sedona is renowned for its healing powers, and that night, our last, we were mellowed by a powerful sense of relief that our journey would soon be over. Anne Slowey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Fear and Self-Loathing in the American Southwest," 25 July 2018 The situation reportedly mellowed out when Gigi Hadid arrived. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jordyn Woods and Kendall Jenner's Coachella Encounter Was Reportedly Full of "Tension" and "Awkwardness"," 16 Apr. 2019 People normally get cranky when the economy is doing badly but mellow out as things improve. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Voters Rebel in Europe’s Big Three," 10 Dec. 2018 This intense, unflitered IPA is mellowed by the sweet taste of golden honey. Fox News, "Best craft beers to drink right now," 3 May 2017 Pro tip: Toss thinly sliced raw onion with lime juice to mellow its bite. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Chicken Mole Tacos," 17 Jan. 2019 Traditional wine presses sometimes crush the grape seeds along with the grapes, releasing a bitter flavor that mellows during the aging process. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "The Winery That Fits in a Closet," 12 Oct. 2018 Missy Robbins, the chef of Lilia in Brooklyn, makes a pesto of two parts parsley, one part marjoram, to mellow the marjoram’s assertive fragrance. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "6 Fresh Takes on Pesto," 3 Aug. 2018 Available in the United States, its casks are famously carried aboard ships that cross the Equator twice before it is sold, to mellow the spirit. Jason Wilson, New York Times, "Jump-Starting the Aquavit Renaissance," 13 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for mellow

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mellow

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mellow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mellow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mellow

Spanish Central: Translation of mellow

Nglish: Translation of mellow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mellow for Arabic Speakers

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