- 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 relenting
I gave him hopes of Frederica's relenting, and told him a great deal of her improvements.Lady Susan
“I am sure I should break down,” said I, trying to find some sign of relenting in his eyes.The First Violin
There was no pause, no pity, no relenting rest in the world's kindness.The Manxman
She shuddered, and he caught at the fact as a sign of relenting.Masterpieces of Mystery
I am told that she is relenting—that she has been heard to speak kindly of Clara.The Old Countess; or, The Two Proposals
Ann S. Stephens
- 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 relenting
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper