mol·​li·​fy | \ˈmä-lə-ˌfī \
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 \ 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

In an attempt to mollify the environmental wing of his party, Mr. Macron on Tuesday set up a new independent council of scientists, economists and engineers charged with reviewing France’s climate policy. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Macron Recommits to Fuel Tax Amid Rising Protests," 27 Nov. 2018 Lifting the de facto ban on gun violence research was an attempt to mollify a country still reeling from the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, just weeks before. Verge Staff, The Verge, "What the new Congress means for space, self-driving cars, and regulating Facebook," 7 Nov. 2018 These students were unwilling to be mediated and mollified by spokespeople or television anchors. Lara Backmender, Glamour, "The March for Our Lives Activists Who Said Never Again," 1 Nov. 2018 After the rupee’s tumble, India’s government issued a somewhat mollifying statement reaffirming the RBI’s autonomy. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "India Is the Latest Place for a Government-Central Bank Scrap," 2 Nov. 2018 The Justice Department agreed to turn over to Nunes many of its files on the genesis of the investigation into the Trump campaign, but that has hardly mollified the president. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Demands Justice Department Investigate Role of Informant on Campaign," 20 May 2018 Spurs coach Gregg Popovich met with the disgruntled Leonard in an attempt to mollify his star who requested a trade, and when that apparently didn’t resolve things, the Spurs began talking with the Lakers and other teams. Steve Rosenbloom,, "Shouldn’t next summer’s free-agency be the last chance for John Paxson and Gar Forman?," 6 July 2018 That has not mollified critics who view it as another black mark on her record. Chris Megerian,, "Gina Haspel will face a tough Senate confirmation hearing to run the CIA," 9 May 2018 But without agreement or a clear list of goals from the American side, the Chinese may try to mollify officials by meeting only the most modest of their trade demands. Ana Swanson And Jim Tankersley, New York Times, "Trump Trade Officials Will Present a Hard Line in China, but Internally They Are Divided," 2 May 2018

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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Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for mollify

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

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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 \
mollified; mollifying

Kids Definition of mollify

: to soothe in temper or disposition

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More from Merriam-Webster on mollify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mollify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mollify

Spanish Central: Translation of mollify

Nglish: Translation of mollify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mollify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mollify

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a nest or breeding place

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