: alleviating pain or harshness : soothing
Did You Know?
Lenitive first appears in English in the 15th century. It derives from the Latin verb lenire ("to soften or soothe"), which was itself formed from the adjective lenis, meaning "soft" or "mild." Lenire also gave us the adjective lenient, which usually means "tolerant" or "indulgent" today but in its original sense carried the meaning of "relieving pain or stress." Often found in medical contexts, lenitive can also be a noun referring to a treatment (such as a salve) with soothing or healing properties.
Peppermint, chamomile, and ginger are all reputed to have a lenitive effect on the digestive system.
"The air in Eastbourne … is melancholy with the sweet memories of childhood, and the promises it breathes are prayerful and lenitive: all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." — Howard Jacobson, The Independent (London), 2 Aug. 2008
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of lenitive: SVEAISUAS.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP