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

The move to divest from women’s health and infectious disease, reported earlier by CNBC, may mollify investors who have been calling for the company to improve stock performance, while stopping short of heeding their calls to break up the company. Jonathan D. Rockoff, WSJ, "Allergan To Sell Businesses in Bid To Appease Shareholders," 30 May 2018 The reassurances are unlikely to mollify Margate residents who fought for years to stop the dunes. Amy S. Rosenberg,, "Margate beaches not 'ruined,' experts say," 27 June 2018 In the 1990s, the task of dealing with Barr fell to then-ABC Entertainment president Ted Harbert, who recalled being summoned to Barr's house to hold meetings -- and seek ways to mollify her -- while Barr and Arnold sat in bed. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Roseanne Barr's stormy past foreshadowed her show's dramatic end," 30 May 2018 But growing opposition has caused the city to attempt to mollify the GOP, in accepting the convention Monday before winning it. Steve Harrison And Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Why did council Democrats wait to oppose RNC? An inside look at Charlotte’s bid.," 13 July 2018 Still, the request for an investigation did not immediately mollify GOP lawmakers., "White House plans meeting between intelligence officials, GOP lawmakers on FBI source," 21 May 2018 But the Oregon senators and most other Democrats were not mollified. Carl Hulse, New York Times, "Republicans Escalate Bitter Fight Over Judicial Nominations," 17 May 2018 And that has, apparently, led Trump to look for means of strengthening his position vis-à-vis China, and mollifying the outrage of Big Ag. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Looks Into Rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership," 12 Apr. 2018 Khrosrowshahi has made patching things up with London a major focus of his tenure so far, publicly pleading for compromise with regulators before taking initial steps to mollify them. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Uber Heads to Court to Save Its London License — And A Whole Lot More," 24 June 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

10 Oct 2018

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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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Comments on mollify

What made you want to look up mollify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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