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

Early in the evening on Friday, Ellen Swain, a student from Pittsburgh, entertained the crowd with mellow vocals. Mary Jane Brewer,, "Uncorked Medina Wine Festival raises funds for Medina County Parks," 21 July 2019 No worries: this off-road cycling is mostly mellow and non-technical. Jeanine Barone, The Know, "Ride your bike on these Colorado railroad routes without fear of being run over by a train," 2 July 2019 With the mellow music and a nice prayer to read aloud, everyone will be in the holiday spirit in no time. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "40 Best Thanksgiving Songs to Play on Turkey Day," 29 July 2019 Maybe sign up for white-water rafting or join the locals for a mellow inner tube float. Amy Tara Koch, Twin Cities, "Mountain getaways are worth a ‘peak’ in summer," 27 July 2019 Maybe sign up for white-water rafting or join the locals for a mellow inner tube float. Amy Tara Koch, The Know, "Mountain getaways outside of Colorado that are worthy of a summer vacation," 24 July 2019 Maybe sign up for white-water rafting or join the locals for a mellow inner tube float. Amy Tara Koch, Washington Post, "Life’s more than a beach. Four mountain towns to visit this summer.," 19 July 2019 Much of the look is right — James Proudfoot’s hazy, evocative lighting is both mellow and trippy — but the choreography’s dynamics are ultimately too modest overall. Janine Parker,, "Much to relish from Ballet BC at Jacob’s Pillow," 21 June 2019 The Manson murders have been hailed as epochal: the needle scratch to the 1960s soundtrack of peace, love and mellow vibes that brought the idealistic era to a screeching halt. Stephen Phillips,, "What really happened in the Manson murders? ‘Chaos’ casts doubt on Helter Skelter theory," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That was less of an issue Tuesday morning as the wind mellowed, Saarloos said. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Sterling Highway set to be reopened with one lane and pilot cars," 20 Aug. 2019 The William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016, which is dry, buttery, medium-bodied, and full of orchard fruit like apples and pears, allows food to shine while mellowing and balancing seasoning and spice. Sara Mae Albert, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Plan a Casual Chic Dinner Party," 2 Aug. 2019 Next, stir-fry the cashews and curry paste to mellow the aromatics and add nutty, toasty flavor. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "Go Ahead and Fill Up on This Fiery Cashew Dip," 26 July 2019 The fat from pork belly mellows the mam tom, and the garlic, chile and lemon juice brighten the greens. Charring everything in a wickedly hot pan adds a smokiness that ties the dish together. Soleil Ho,, "Off the shelf: The powerfully funky umami of Vietnamese fish paste," 20 June 2019 Photo: Scott Frances Age and Beauty, Simultaneously Pieces in the dining area of the great room—namely a jute rug and chairs framed with metal like bendy pasta—also mellow the house’s hard lines with natural materials and shapes. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "How to Warm Up a Home Without Cluttering It Up," 12 Oct. 2018 Later in life, Mr. Torn professed to have mellowed. New York Times, "Rip Torn, an Outsize Presence Onstage and Off, Is Dead at 88," 9 July 2019 Adult dogs who are out of their puppy phase and have mellowed out a bit often mesh well into these types of homes. Sara Werning, The Mercury News, "Critter corner: Find the perfect dog for your family," 28 June 2019 Cajun spices get mellowed with a healthy splash of milk, which gives this combo a risotto-like texture. Kari Sonde, Washington Post, "These are the 5 recipes our readers loved most this week," 14 June 2019

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

30 Aug 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

Comments on mellow

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recurring in steady succession

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