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

Definition of solace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give comfort to in grief or misfortune : console
2a : to make cheerful
b : amuse
3 : allay, soothe solace grief



Definition of solace (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from solace


solacement \ ˈsä-​ləs-​mənt How to pronounce solace (audio) also  ˈsō-​ \ noun
solacer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for solace

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Take Solace in This Word Origin


Solace was borrowed into English in the 14th century (via Anglo-French) from Latin solacium, which in turn derives from the Latin verb solari, meaning "to console." As you may have guessed, "solari" is also the source of the English words "console" and "consolation" (formed by combination with the prefix com-). In addition to the noun function, "solace" can be used as a verb ("he was solaced by the company of his children"). Also related are the nouns "solacer" ("one who solaces") and "solacement" ("an act of solacing or the condition of being solaced" or "something that solaces").

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Identifying and utilizing wild edible plants is an ancient skill set that in modern times is a fun outdoor activity that provides food and solace away from everyday life. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "6 Most Common Mistakes Rookie Foragers Make," 19 Mar. 2021 Among the misery and isolation of 2020, my secret Instagram became a portal to solace and a newer self. Jason Parham, Wired, "This Year I Found Pleasure in the Work of Looking," 28 Dec. 2020 Against this backdrop of vulnerability, BTS also offered audiences solace through eye-catching stages. Lenika Cruz, The Atlantic, "In 2020, BTS Made the World Feel Big Again," 26 Dec. 2020 That should give others solace for when Santa makes his wider rounds on December 24. Ryan Prior, CNN, "How Santa Claus will deliver presents safely in the Covid-19 pandemic, explained by kids," 19 Dec. 2020 Gardens bring joy, delight, sustenance and even solace. Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garden galleries emerge across San Diego during pandemic time," 7 Nov. 2020 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, "‘After Emily’ Review: The Belles of Amherst," 25 Oct. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Others will find solace in the fact that Winona chose a different path, and is still OK and able to get through her life. Jessica Gold, Forbes, "Struggling With Your Mental Health? MTV Entertainment Studios’ Pink Skies Ahead Helps You Feel Less Alone," 6 May 2021 Courtesy of Emily Copus Hardship paused their farming operations, but Copus' family continued to find solace in the soil. Katie Strasberg Rousso, Southern Living, "This Appalachian Flower Farmer is Regrowing Her Family's History," 26 Apr. 2021 Buyers looking for a break from competitive urban markets will find no solace farther north. Brooks Johnson, Star Tribune, "Duluth housing market in 'new normal' as listings remain scarce," 21 Apr. 2021 In fact, those put off by the annual brouhahas around the Academy Awards should find solace in the fact that many of the Oscars fights of recent years are actually reprises of controversies from days of old. Nate Jones, Vulture, "We’ve Been Having the Same Fights About the Oscars for 70 Years," 20 Apr. 2021 Houston, blown out by Baylor in the semis, can at least find solace in what came Monday. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Eighteen years after Scott Drew took over a program in shambles, Baylor has done the impossible, ended Texas’ title drought," 5 Apr. 2021 Senior bureaucrats, meanwhile, find solace in adhering to the status quo, without questioning the undergirding problematic structures. Brian Wong, Fortune, "What Hong Kong needs to rebound from two terrible years," 5 Mar. 2021 Kalu also cites police violence and the loss of Black lives as catalysts to the creation of a sanctuary where people could find solace. Metanoya Z. Webb, Essence, "Come To Their Oakland Shop For The Plants, But Stay For The Sanctuary and Peace," 4 Mar. 2021 Jacqueline is disappointed but takes solace in the response. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "How one story connected people and wound up in a debate at the Arizona Legislature," 24 Apr. 2021

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for solace

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for solace

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for solace

Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Solace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for solace



English Language Learners Definition of solace

formal : someone or something that gives a feeling of comfort to a person who is sad, depressed, etc. : a source of comfort


so·​lace | \ ˈsä-ləs How to pronounce solace (audio) , ˈsō- \

Kids Definition of solace

1 : comfort in times of sorrow or worry I'll seek solace in friends.
2 : something that gives comfort Books were his only solace.

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