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 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 Both new products have features clearly intended to mollify security and privacy skeptics. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Amazon's Latest Gimmicks Are Pushing the Limits of Privacy," 11 Oct. 2020 That did not mollify the opposition Labour Party, which seized on the latest glitch as evidence of the government’s serial incompetence. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "In U.K.’s Test and Trace: Now You See ’em, Now You Don’t," 5 Oct. 2020 Trump wore a mask while in the car, and the two Secret Service officers reportedly wore protective clothing as well as masks, but those precautions weren’t enough to mollify medical professionals, who deemed Trump’s actions reckless. Stuart Emmrich, Vogue, "Anger Builds Over Trump’s Sunday Night Joyride Around Walter Reed," 5 Oct. 2020 The parties have tried to mollify concerns about control by telling Trump administration officials that the changeover would happen eventually, said a person with knowledge of the talks. David Mccabe, New York Times, "TikTok Deal Trips Over U.S.-China Power Struggle," 21 Sep. 2020 Seeking to mollify their constituents, in 1939 committee members agreed to hold a thorough public inquiry into Franklin Roosevelt’s next nominee Felix Frankfurter. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "Why filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year is so complicated," 19 Sep. 2020 But efforts to mollify the Chinese government could easily sour US regulators on any deal. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Oracle, one of Donald Trump’s favorite companies, wins TikTok deal," 13 Sep. 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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Cite this Entry

“Mollify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for mollify


How to pronounce mollify (audio)

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

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