mol·​li·​fy | \ ˈmä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce mollify (audio) \
mollified; mollifying

Definition of mollify

transitive verb

1 : to soothe in temper or disposition : appease mollified the staff with a raise
2 : to reduce the rigidity of : soften Shaving cream mollifies the beard.
3 : to reduce in intensity : assuage, temper Time mollified his anger.

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Other Words from mollify

mollification \ ˌmä-​lə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce mollify (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for mollify

pacify, appease, placate, mollify, propitiate, conciliate mean to ease the anger or disturbance of. pacify suggests a soothing or calming. pacified by a sincere apology appease implies quieting insistent demands by making concessions. appease their territorial ambitions placate suggests changing resentment or bitterness to goodwill. a move to placate local opposition mollify implies soothing hurt feelings or rising anger. a speech that mollified the demonstrators propitiate implies averting anger or malevolence especially of a superior being. propitiated his parents by dressing up conciliate suggests ending an estrangement by persuasion, concession, or settling of differences. conciliating the belligerent nations

The Difference Between Mollify, Appease, and Placate

Mollify, pacify, appease, and placate all mean "to ease the anger or disturbance of," although each implies a slightly different way of pouring oil on troubled waters. Pacify suggests the restoration of a calm or peaceful state, while appease implies the quieting of insistent demands by making concessions; you can appease appetites and desires as well as persons. Placate is similar to appease, but it often indicates a more complete transformation of bitterness to goodwill. Mollify, with its root in Latin mollis, meaning "soft," implies soothing hurt feelings or anger.

Examples of mollify in a Sentence

He tried to mollify his critics with an apology. All attempts to mollify the extremists have failed. The landlord fixed the heat, but the tenants still were not mollified.
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Recent Examples on the Web That op-ed in the Republic was written in January, when the board was fighting the Senate subpoenas and was preparing to do two additional election audits in an effort to mollify lawmakers. Bob Christie, USA TODAY, "Arizona Senate hires firms to recount 2.1 million ballots in state's biggest county," 1 Apr. 2021 Managing the uncontrollable forces of randomness has baffled people for decades, but newer players can mollify the R.N.G. gods. Jacob Sweet, The New Yorker, "The Revolution in Classic Tetris," 26 Mar. 2021 AstraZeneca, which developed its vaccine with the University of Oxford, eventually agreed to send some additional doses, but not enough to mollify European leaders who have been under enormous pressure to turbocharge relatively sluggish rollouts. New York Times, "Desperate Italy Blocks Exports of Vaccines Bound for Australia," 5 Mar. 2021 Peace was perhaps a political compromise, added to mollify former Confederates in Congress who weren’t eager to support a tribute to the Union cause. Abigail Tucker, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Tragic Irony of the U.S. Capitol’s Peace Monument," 26 Feb. 2021 Republicans have to mollify Trump voters miffed about the 2020 presidential election. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, "After 2020 debacle, Republicans look to retool as specter of Trump looms," 25 Jan. 2021 Analysts attributed Xi’s surprising carbon neutrality pledge partly as an attempt to mollify Biden ahead of his election win. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Kerry bets on setting aside confrontation with China to combat climate change," 9 Feb. 2021 It was reported on the weekend that the British government would scrap the idea, so as to mollify the U.S. as the two countries negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal, but the government denied those reports on Monday. David Meyer, Fortune, "Facebook coughs up $125 million to settle French tax dispute," 24 Aug. 2020 On Thursday, Clément Beaune, Macron’s Europe minister, and Annick Girardin, France’s ocean minister, traveled to the village of Port-en-Bessin, not far from Omaha Beach, to mollify uneasy fishermen. William Booth, Washington Post, "Boris Johnson threatens a no-deal Brexit as Britain and France fight over fish," 16 Oct. 2020

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

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

History and Etymology for mollify

Middle English mollifien, from Middle French mollifier, from Late Latin mollificare, from Latin mollis soft; akin to Greek amaldynein to soften, Sanskrit mṛdu soft, and probably to Greek malakos soft, amblys dull, Old English meltan to melt

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

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Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mollify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mollify



English Language Learners Definition of mollify

: to make (someone) less angry : to calm (someone) down


mol·​li·​fy | \ ˈmä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce mollify (audio) \
mollified; mollifying

Kids Definition of mollify

: to soothe in temper or disposition

Comments on mollify

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