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[eez] /iz/
freedom from labor, pain, or physical annoyance; tranquil rest; comfort:
to enjoy one's ease.
freedom from concern, anxiety, or solicitude; a quiet state of mind:
to be at ease about one's health.
freedom from difficulty or great effort; facility:
It can be done with ease.
freedom from financial need; plenty:
a life of ease on a moderate income.
freedom from stiffness, constraint, or formality; unaffectedness:
ease of manner; the ease and elegance of her poetry.
verb (used with object), eased, easing.
to free from anxiety or care:
to ease one's mind.
to mitigate, lighten, or lessen:
to ease pain.
to release from pressure, tension, or the like.
to move or shift with great care:
to ease a car into a narrow parking space.
to render less difficult; facilitate:
I'll help if it will ease your job.
to provide (an architectural member) with an easement.
Shipbuilding. to trim (a timber of a wooden hull) so as to fair its surface into the desired form of the hull.
  1. to bring (the helm or rudder of a vessel) slowly amidships.
  2. to bring the head of (a vessel) into the wind.
  3. to slacken or lessen the hold upon (a rope).
  4. to lessen the hold of (the brake of a windlass).
verb (used without object), eased, easing.
to abate in severity, pressure, tension, etc. (often followed by off or up).
to become less painful, burdensome, etc.
to move, shift, or be moved or be shifted with great care.
Verb phrases
ease out, to remove from a position of authority, a job, or the like, especially by methods intended to be tactful:
He was eased out as division head to make way for the boss's nephew.
at ease, Military. a position of rest in which soldiers may relax but may not leave their places or talk.
Origin of ease
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English ese, eise < Anglo-French ese, Old French aise, eise comfort, convenience < Vulgar Latin *adjace(m), accusative of *adjacēs vicinity (compare Medieval Latin in aiace in (the) vicinity), the regular outcome of Latin adjacēns adjacent, taken in VL as a noun of the type nūbēs, accusative nūbem cloud; (v.) Middle English esen < Anglo-French e(i)ser, Old French aisier, derivative of the noun
Related forms
self-ease, noun
self-easing, adjective
well-eased, adjective
1. repose, contentment, effortlessness. 2. tranquillity, serenity, calmness, peace. 5. naturalness, informality. 6. comfort, relieve, disburden; tranquilize, soothe. 7. alleviate, assuage, allay, abate, reduce.
1. discomfort, effort. 2. disturbance. 5. stiffness, formality, tenseness.
Synonym Study
1. Ease, comfort refer to a sense of relaxation or of well-being. Ease implies a relaxed condition with an absence of effort or pressure: a life of ease. Comfort suggests a sense of well-being, along with ease, which produces a quiet happiness and contentment: comfort in one's old age. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for at ease


freedom from discomfort, worry, or anxiety
lack of difficulty, labour, or awkwardness; facility
rest, leisure, or relaxation
freedom from poverty or financial embarrassment; affluence: a life of ease
lack of restraint, embarrassment, or stiffness: his ease of manner disarmed us
(military) at ease
  1. (of a standing soldier, etc) in a relaxed position with the feet apart and hands linked behind the back
  2. a command to adopt such a position
  3. in a relaxed attitude or frame of mind
to make or become less burdensome
(transitive) to relieve (a person) of worry or care; comfort
(transitive) to make comfortable or give rest to
(transitive) to make less difficult; facilitate
to move or cause to move into, out of, etc, with careful manipulation: to ease a car into a narrow space
when intr, often foll by off or up. to lessen or cause to lessen in severity, pressure, tension, or strain; slacken, loosen, or abate
(archaic, euphemistic) ease oneself, ease nature, to urinate or defecate
(nautical) ease the helm, to relieve the pressure on the rudder of a vessel, esp by bringing the bow into the wind
Derived Forms
easer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French aise ease, opportunity, from Latin adjacēns neighbouring (area); see adjacent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for at ease



c.1300, "to help, assist," see ease (n.). Meaning "to give ease" is from mid-14c.; the sense of "to relax one's efforts" is from 1863. Farmer reports ease in a slang sense of "to content a woman" sexually, with an 1861 date. Related: Eased; easing.



early 13c., from Old French aise "comfort, pleasure, well-being; opportunity," of unknown origin, despite attempts to link it to various Latin verbs.

The earliest senses in French appear to be 1. "elbow-room" (from an 11th century Hebrew-French glossary) and 2. "opportunity." This led Sophus Bugge to suggest an origin in Vulgar Latin asa, a shortened form of Latin ansa "handle," which could be used in the figurative sense of "opportunity, occasion," as well as being a possible synonym for "elbow," because Latin ansatus "furnished with handles" also was used to mean "having the arms akimbo." OED editors report this theory, and write, "This is not very satisfactory, but it does not appear that any equally plausible alternative has yet been proposed."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with at ease

at ease

Also,at one's ease. Comfortable, relaxed, unembarrassed, as in I always feel at ease in my grandmother's house. The related idiomput at ease means “make comfortable, reassure,” as in I was worried that the letter would not arrive in time, but the postmaster put me at ease. [ 1300s ]
For the antonym, see ill at ease
In a relaxed position in military ranks. The phrase is often used as a command for troops standing at attention to relax, as in At ease, squadron. The commandstand at ease is slightly different. A British military dictionary of 1802 described it as standing with the right foot drawn back about six inches and one's weight put on it. An American version is to stand with one's feet slightly apart and the hands clasped behind one's back.


also see:
also see under:
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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