blan·​dish ˈblan-dish How to pronounce blandish (audio)
blandished; blandishing; blandishes

transitive verb

: to coax with flattery : cajole

intransitive verb

: to act or speak in a flattering or coaxing manner
blandisher noun

Did you know?

The word blandish has been a part of the English language since at least the 14th century with virtually no change in its meaning. It ultimately derives from blandus, a Latin word meaning "mild" or "flattering." One of the earliest known uses of blandish can be found in the sacred writings of Richard Rolle de Hampole, an English hermit and mystic, who cautioned against "the dragon that blandishes with the head and smites with the tail." Although blandish might not exactly be suggestive of dullness, it was the "mild" sense of blandus that gave us our adjective bland, which has a lesser-known sense meaning "smooth and soothing in manner or quality."

Choose the Right Synonym for blandish

cajole, coax, soft-soap, blandish, wheedle mean to influence or persuade by pleasing words or actions.

cajole suggests the deliberate use of flattery to persuade in the face of reluctance or reasonable objections.

cajoled him into cheating on the final exam

coax implies gentle and persistent words or actions employed to produce a desired effect.

coaxed the cat out of the tree

soft-soap refers to using smooth and somewhat insincere talk usually for personal gain.

politicians soft-soaping eligible voters

blandish implies a more open desire to win a person over by effusive praise and affectionate actions.

legislators blandished with promises of support

wheedle suggests more strongly than cajole the use of seductive appeal or artful words in persuading.

hucksters wheedling her life's savings out of her

Examples of blandish in a Sentence

blandished her into doing their work for them by complimenting her shamelessly

Word History


Middle English blaundyshen, blaundissen "to flatter, be enticing, (of the sea) become calm," borrowed from Anglo-French blandiss-, long stem of blandir "to flatter, cajole," going back to Latin blandīrī "to behave or speak in an ingratiating way, flatter," derivative of blandus "influencing others by flattery, ingratiating" — more at bland

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of blandish was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near blandish

Cite this Entry

“Blandish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


blan·​dish ˈblan-dish How to pronounce blandish (audio)
: to coax or persuade with flattery

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