Thesaurus

relent

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of relent

1 to cease resistance (as to another's arguments, demands, or control)
  • the supervisor finally relented in the face of the petition, and allowed employees to take longer lunch breaks

Synonyms for relent

Words Related to relent

Phrases Synonymous with relent

Near Antonyms for relent

Antonyms for relent

2 to grow less in scope or intensity especially gradually
  • the fury of the storm relented, and the next day the sun finally broke through the clouds

Synonyms for relent

Words Related to relent

Near Antonyms for relent

Antonyms for relent

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About relent

How does the verb relent differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of relent are capitulate, defer, submit, succumb, and yield. While all these words mean "to give way to someone or something that one can no longer resist," relent implies a yielding through pity or mercy by one who holds the upper hand.

finally relented and let the children stay up late

When is capitulate a more appropriate choice than relent?

The meanings of capitulate and relent largely overlap; however, 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

Where would defer be a reasonable alternative to relent?

Although the words defer and relent have much in common, 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

When can submit be used instead of relent?

In some situations, the words submit and relent are roughly equivalent. However, 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

When is it sensible to use succumb instead of relent?

While in some cases nearly identical to relent, 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

When would yield be a good substitute for relent?

While the synonyms yield and relent are close in meaning, yield may apply to any sort or degree of giving way before force, argument, persuasion, or entreaty.

yields too easily in any argument

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about relent

Time Traveler for relent

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for relent

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relent.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/relent. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on relent

Dictionary: Definition of relent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with relent

Spanish Central: Translation of relent

Nglish: Translation of relent for Spanish Speakers

Comments on relent

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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