verb mol·li·fy \ ˈmä-lə-ˌfī \
|Updated on: 18 Jul 2018

Definition of mollify

mollified; mollifying
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.


play \ˌmä-lə-fə-ˈkā-shən\ noun

mollify was our Word of the Day on 11/06/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of mollify in a Sentence

  1. He tried to mollify his critics with an apology.

  2. All attempts to mollify the extremists have failed.

  3. The landlord fixed the heat, but the tenants still were not mollified.

Recent Examples of mollify from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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

MOLLIFY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of mollify for English Language Learners

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

MOLLIFY Defined for Kids


verb mol·li·fy \ ˈmä-lə-ˌfī \

Definition of mollify for Students

mollified; mollifying
: to soothe in temper or disposition

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one who attends or assists a leader

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