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 As the band eases into the briefly mellow bridge, Vedder flips himself and his stool over onto the floor. Shana Naomi Krochmal,, "Pearl Jam's 1992 MTV Unplugged still rocks with righteous, relevant anger," 30 Oct. 2020 Generally soft and mellow, the piece intermittently grows louder and more animated. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Two area ensembles trace modern classical music’s spirit of innovation," 20 Oct. 2020 Denis draws a telling contrast between the regimented boredom of the legionnaires’ lives and the mellow, purposeful routines of the Djibouti natives. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Pushed to the Edge by “Beau Travail”," 20 Oct. 2020 In metro Phoenix's growing Filipino food scene, cooks and bakersare reaching for the familiar flavors of the cuisine — the tanginess of vinegar sauces, the mellow nuttiness of ube — while at the same time, leaning into their personal histories. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "'It's authentic to me': How chefs are redefining what Filipino food means in metro Phoenix," 19 Oct. 2020 But without Aaron and Bryce’s complementary guitars, Bryan’s anchoring drums and Scott’s reverberating bass, the mellow sound carrying over is decidedly Berninger’s, fine-tuned by longtime producer Booker T. Jones. Washington Post, "Matt Berninger, king of melancholy music, is doing just fine," 14 Oct. 2020 Cooking them in a bit of oil over a low heat tempers the onions' sharp notes and brings out a rich, mellow sweetness. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Flatbreads let your creativity flow," 6 Oct. 2020 When merging onto the freeway from a cloverleaf, the Escalade cut power at a very mellow 38 mph. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV Goes Big on High-Tech Luxury," 19 Oct. 2020 The interior was painted cherry red, but Lenker had just picked out a new color, a mellow cream called Honeyed White. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Adrianne Lenker’s Radical Honesty," 12 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One will take off the edge, two will mellow everything until the morning. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Edible bites for Election Night," 28 Oct. 2020 Known for its intense astringency, bitter melon can be quite difficult to mellow out, but here’s a method how: Halve the melon, seed it, and cut lengthwise into pieces. Clarissa Wei, Bon Appétit, "Umami, Salty, and Rich, Douchi Does It All," 19 Oct. 2020 These risks would mellow under a Democratic presidency. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Trump’s Positive Covid Test Is Another Reason for Investors to Look Away," 2 Oct. 2020 Sharp additions, such as tangy cheese, vinegar, onions and garlic help mellow their inherent beetiness. Jeanmarie Brownson,, "The flavors of fall: Beets and kohlrabi come to the table," 22 Sep. 2020 The relationship between Newsom and Trump – which has been punctuated by very public spats over everything from climate change to immigration – seemed to mellow during the coronavirus pandemic. Andrew O'reilly | Fox News, Fox News, "California's Newsom thanks Trump for help with fires, says climate change contributes to blazes," 14 Sep. 2020 This can absolutely be served immediately, but an hour or so in the refrigerator will allow the flavors to meld and the garlic to mellow out. Lesley Enston, Bon Appétit, "If It's Not Spicy Enough to Make You Sweat, It's Not Chow," 4 Aug. 2020 The subdued color and grass-cloth finish of the console mellow the high-contrast entry, which also gets touches of whimsy from claw-foot stools and a peacock print. Marni Elyse Katz, Better Homes & Gardens, "Coastal Colors and Boho-Inspired Accents Revive This 130-Year-Old Victorian," 23 June 2020 This week, temperatures will remain at or above 100 until Friday, when the heat will mellow somewhat to the upper 90s. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje,, "San Antonio heat breaks two records but few people show at cooling centers," 13 July 2020

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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Statistics for mellow

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mellow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for mellow


How to pronounce mellow (audio)

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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