- to soften in feeling, temper, or determination; become more mild, compassionate, or forgiving.
- to become less severe; slacken: The winds relented.
- Obsolete. to cause to soften in feeling, temper, or determination.
- Obsolete. to cause to slacken; abate.
- Obsolete. to abandon; relinquish.
Origin of relent
1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin *relentāre, equivalent to Latin re- re- + lentāre to bend, derivative of lentus flexible, viscous, slow
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. bend, yield.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for relent
She begged their father to contact him, refusing to relent until he sent an inquiring telegram.Knocking on Heaven's Door: True Stories of Unexplained, Uncanny Experiences at the Hour of Death
August 11, 2014
Only then does Trudy relent, saying that he should get an apartment in Manhattan.‘Mad Men’ Returns: A Recap of Season Five
April 5, 2013
Then, in 1937, in a 5–4 decision, the Justices began to relent.Is the Supreme Court’s Health-Care Ruling a Turning Point in Constitutional Law?
June 28, 2012
By early Wednesday morning, Abedin had returned, but Weiner sent no signals to Washington that he was ready to relent.How the Dems Toppled Weiner
June 17, 2011
And the senate, pressured by businesses, is in no mood to relent.Why Arizona is Retreating on its Immigration Law
Terry Greene Sterling
March 19, 2011
Wanhope had the effect of appealing to Minver, but the painter would not relent.Questionable Shapes
William Dean Howells
Your mother is of opinion, you say, that at last my friends will relent.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
That it could soften or relent, appeared next to impossible.Little Dorrit
We shrink not from death, nor relent before any of thy gods.The Aeneid of Virgil
If he were to relent and give up his scruples would you marry him?The Tragic Muse
- to change one's mind about some decided course, esp a harsh one; become more mild or amenable
- (of the pace or intensity of something) to slacken
- (of the weather) to become more mild
C14: from re- + Latin lentāre to bend, from lentus flexible, tenacious
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 relent
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper