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, 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, 28 Dec. 2020 Against this backdrop of vulnerability, BTS also offered audiences solace through eye-catching stages. Lenika Cruz, The Atlantic, 26 Dec. 2020 That should give others solace for when Santa makes his wider rounds on December 24. Ryan Prior, CNN, 19 Dec. 2020 Gardens bring joy, delight, sustenance and even solace. Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 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, 25 Oct. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Shoppers can't look for solace at used vehicle lots. Ed Garsten, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 But half of their spaces are also meant for solace. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 27 Aug. 2021 The isolation of Rockport fostered looking to music for solace, for therapy., 23 Aug. 2021 Turning to the wilderness for solace from grief is an ancient if imperfect strategy, but Matthiessen’s resort to it is more disconcerting than most. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 An empathetic listener, Montell takes careful note of the empty words that cult members turn to for solace. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, 28 June 2021 In the meantime, Helsel, Price and hundreds of others have turned to online groups for solace. Christine Condon,, 6 June 2021 The brevity of a tweet offers manageable reading if my mind is tired but looking for solace. Landis Wiedner, Wired, 4 June 2021 Nitika Chopra, a 39-year-old New Yorker, turned to her group chat for solace after the Atlanta shootings in mid-March, when eight people — including seven women, six of them Asian — were killed. Molly Longman,, 30 Mar. 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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Cite this Entry

“Solace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for solace



English Language Learners Definition of solace

: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on solace

Nglish: Translation of solace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solace for Arabic Speakers


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