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mellow

[mel-oh]
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adjective, mel·low·er, mel·low·est.
  1. soft, sweet, and full-flavored from ripeness, as fruit.
  2. well-matured, as wines.
  3. soft and rich, as sound, tones, color, or light.
  4. made gentle and compassionate by age or maturity; softened.
  5. friable or loamy, as soil.
  6. mildly and pleasantly intoxicated or high.
  7. pleasantly agreeable; free from tension, discord, etc.: a mellow neighborhood.
  8. affably relaxed; easygoing; genial: a mellow teacher who is very popular with her students.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become mellow.
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noun
  1. Slang. a state, atmosphere, or mood of ease and gentle relaxation.
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Verb Phrases
  1. mellow out, Slang.
    1. to become detached from worry, strife, stress, etc.; relax: After final exams let's go down to the beach and mellow out.
    2. to make more relaxed, agreeable, workable, etc.; soften or smooth: Chopin really mellows me out when I'm feeling tense.
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Origin of mellow

1400–50; late Middle English mel(o)we, alteration (perhaps by dissimilation, in phrase meruw fruit) of Middle English meruw, Old English meru soft
Related formsmel·low·ly, adverbmel·low·ness, nouno·ver·mel·low, adjectiveo·ver·mel·low·ly, adverbo·ver·mel·low·ness, nounun·mel·low, adjectiveun·mel·lowed, adjective

Synonyms

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1. See ripe. 9. develop, mature, improve.

Antonyms

1. immature, raw, green. 3. harsh.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mellowing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Mellowing rapidly, he was a pleasanter companion than before.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • Slowly the mellowing influence of the grape pronounced itself.

  • She had her boys, the sunsets and sunrises, the mellowing beauty of the year.

    The Heart of Rachael

    Kathleen Norris

  • It was like moonlight to the earth, mellowing and softening all lines and angles.

    Dawn

    Mrs. Harriet A. Adams

  • "It was for one fellow, though," he continued, mellowing as he mused in his recollections.

    Blindfolded

    Earle Ashley Walcott


British Dictionary definitions for mellowing

mellow

adjective
  1. (esp of fruits) full-flavoured; sweet; ripe
  2. (esp of wines) well-matured
  3. (esp of colours or sounds) soft or rich
  4. kind-hearted, esp through maturity or old age
  5. genial, as through the effects of alcohol
  6. (of soil) soft and loamy
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verb
  1. to make or become mellow; soften; mature
  2. (foll by out) to become calm and relaxed or (esp of a drug) to have a calming or relaxing effect on (someone)
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Derived Formsmellowly, adverbmellowness, noun

Word Origin

C15: perhaps from Old English meru soft (as through ripeness)
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

Word Origin and History for mellowing

mellow

adj.

mid-15c., melwe "soft, sweet, juicy" (of ripe fruit), perhaps related to melowe, variant of mele "ground grain" (see meal (2)), influenced by Middle English merow "soft, tender," from Old English mearu. Meaning "slightly drunk" is from 1680s. Mellow yellow "banana peel smoked in an effort to get high" is from 1967. Related: Mellowly; mellowness.

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mellow

v.

1570s, from mellow (adj.). Related: Mellowed; mellowing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper