relent

verb
re·​lent | \ri-ˈlent \
relented; relenting; relents

Definition of relent 

intransitive verb

1a : to become less severe, harsh, or strict usually from reasons of humanity

b : to cease resistance : give in

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Choose the Right Synonym for relent

yield, submit, capitulate, succumb, relent, defer mean to give way to someone or something that one can no longer resist. yield may apply to any sort or degree of giving way before force, argument, persuasion, or entreaty. yields too easily in any argument submit suggests full surrendering after resistance or conflict to the will or control of another. a repentant sinner vowing to submit to the will of God capitulate stresses the fact of ending all resistance and may imply either a coming to terms (as with an adversary) or hopelessness in the face of an irresistible opposing force. officials capitulated to the protesters' demands succumb implies weakness and helplessness to the one that gives way or an overwhelming power to the opposing force. a stage actor succumbing to the lure of Hollywood relent implies a yielding through pity or mercy by one who holds the upper hand. finally relented and let the children stay up late defer implies a voluntary yielding or submitting out of respect or reverence for or deference and affection toward another. I defer to your expertise in these matters

Examples of relent in a Sentence

Our application was initially refused, but the city relented in the end and the permit was issued. They had refused to pay and relented only after being threatened with a lawsuit. The winds would not relent.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Eventually the transmission warning relented, the other drivers passed me honking furiously and my daughter put on her headphones. Peter Saenger, WSJ, "A Driving Tour of Devon, England—on Perilously Narrow Roads," 30 Oct. 2018 This time the DeKalbs relented and opened the door to see the entire Hart family standing in a row. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Two White Moms. Six Black Kids. One Unthinkable Tragedy. A Look Inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart Family," 6 Sep. 2018 Jockeys, again, being businessmen, Bejarano relented. Tim Layden, SI.com, "Trainer Bob Baffert, Justify Jockey Mike Smith Relish a Remarkable Ride Before Belmont Stakes," 6 June 2018 The judge finally relented and allowed about eight additional people to plead guilty at the end of the calendar. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fast-track misdemeanor immigration court rolls out with confusion, tension," 9 July 2018 When Billy was later hospitalised with a return of his seizures, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, relented and issued a 20-day licence for the product. The Economist, "High and mighty," 21 June 2018 Google relented and plans to let the contract expire next year — a potential blow to its recent efforts to work more with the Pentagon and other government agencies. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Tech CEOs voice opposition to family separations at the border," 20 June 2018 The licensing agent relented and waived the age restrictions. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "How Detour Company Theatre beat Gammage to the punch with 'School of Rock'," 15 June 2018 Still, the chef did relent and suggested a few coveted destinations, like Le Comptoire, Le Dome and Rue Mouffetard. CBS News, "Patton Oswalt shares Anthony Bourdain's blunt advice for trip to Paris," 11 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for relent

Middle English, to melt, soften, from Anglo-French relenter, from re- + Latin lentare to bend, from lentus soft, pliant, slow — more at lithe

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Statistics for relent

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relent

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

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More Definitions for relent

relent

verb

English Language Learners Definition of relent

: to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing

: to become less severe, harsh, strong, determined, etc.

relent

verb
re·​lent | \ri-ˈlent \
relented; relenting

Kids Definition of relent

1 : to become less severe, harsh, or strict The wind relented by evening.

2 : to give in after first resisting or refusing My dad finally relented and increased my allowance.

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Comments on relent

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