1 of 2


so·​lace ˈsä-ləs How to pronounce solace (audio)
 also  ˈsō-
solaced; solacing

transitive verb

: to give comfort to in grief or misfortune : console
: to make cheerful
: amuse
: allay, soothe
solace grief
ˈsä-ləs-mənt How to pronounce solace (audio)
 also  ˈsō-
solacer noun


2 of 2


: comfort in grief : alleviation of grief or anxiety
: a source of relief or consolation

Did you know?

Take Solace in This Word Origin

Solace is a 14th century borrowing from Latin by way of Anglo-French. Its Latin ancestor solari means “to console.” (Solari itself is from the Greek word hilaros, meaning “cheerful”—also source, of course, of hilarious.) Solace is not related to solar (that comes from Latin sol by way of solaris), but it is a close relation of console (“to try to make (someone) feel less sadness or disappointment”) and consolation (“something that makes a person feel less sadness, disappointment, etc.”). In addition to its noun function, solace can be used as a verb (“he was solaced by the company of his children”). For those of you who take solace in knowing the more obscure members of our vast language, we are pleased to also present solacer (“one who solaces”) and solacement (“an act of solacing or the condition of being solaced”).

Examples of solace in a Sentence

Verb Solaced by an abundance of whisky, champagne and cigars, he always bounced back, restoring and recreating himself through intensely active immersion in one or another of his varied interests … Robert Kuttner, New York Times Book Review, 23 Oct. 1988
In this deplorable state, I contrived to do, what I take to have been, three Objective things. I got Mr. Franklin his sherry; I retired to my own room; and I solaced myself with the most composing pipe of tobacco I ever remember to have smoked in my life. Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone, 1868
… and it was settled that Mr. Jones should be sent for early in the morning if Miss Bennet were not decidedly better. Bingley was quite uncomfortable; his sisters declared that they were miserable. They solaced their wretchedness, however, by duets after supper … Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1813
counselors did their best to solace the bereaved children I solaced myself with a book while I waited for the bus. Noun Think your city's suffering? Imagine if your favorite team bolted town after 41 seasons, not for some cosmopolitan burg but a dusty outpost where oil derricks qualify as urban skyline. Now imagine turning to your city's other teams for solace only to find each to be avert-your-eyes abysmal. Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated, 10 Nov. 2008
It's important to explain what's going on, but some parents tell their child too much—about being lonely and frightened, about dates they're going on. Instead of the parent offering emotional solace to the child, the child is expected to provide it for the adult. People, 4 Mar. 2002
Poe's poem is a morbidly sentimental threnody on the same theme: the speaker blames the envious angels for taking his beloved from this world, and finds solace in lying beside her grave. David Lodge, The Art of Fiction, 1992
Her presence was a great solace for me. the kind words brought a little solace to the grieving widow
Recent Examples on the Web
Having left her 1-year-old daughter, Millicent, in Washington with her parents, Mabel solaced herself with the bustle of dinners, carriage rides, musicales and games of whist mainly organized by the town’s eminent couple, Susan and Austin Dickinson. Brenda Wineapple, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2018
Devastated by her loss, Hernandez, 66, found solace and strength through poetry. Laura Rodríguez Presa, Chicago Tribune, 13 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for solace 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'solace.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English solas, from Anglo-French, from Latin solacium, from solari to console

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of solace was in the 13th century


Dictionary Entries Near solace

Cite this Entry

“Solace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
so·​lace ˈsäl-əs How to pronounce solace (audio)
 also  ˈsōl-
: comfort in times of grief or worry
: something that gives comfort


2 of 2 verb
solaced; solacing
: to give solace to : console
: to make cheerful

More from Merriam-Webster on solace

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!