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soothe

[sooth]
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verb (used with object), soothed, sooth·ing.
  1. to tranquilize or calm, as a person or the feelings; relieve, comfort, or refresh: soothing someone's anger; to soothe someone with a hot drink.
  2. to mitigate, assuage, or allay, as pain, sorrow, or doubt: to soothe sunburned skin.
verb (used without object), soothed, sooth·ing.
  1. to exert a soothing influence; bring tranquillity, calm, ease, or comfort.

Origin of soothe

before 950; Middle English sothen to verify, Old English sōthian, equivalent to sōth sooth + -ian infinitive suffix; Modern English sense shift “to verify” > “to support (a person's statement)” > “to encourage” > “to calm”
Related formssooth·er, nounself-soothed, adjectiveun·soothed, adjective

Synonyms

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2. alleviate, appease, mollify.

Synonym study

1. See comfort, allay.

Antonyms

1. upset, roil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for soothed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I was so disappointed and hurt and heartsick, and he kissed me and soothed me.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • It was sultry, and there was something in the atmosphere that at once threatened and soothed.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Be soothed, my son; I meant not to tear the bandage from thy wounds.

    Calderon The Courtier

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • The gentle August night had cooled and soothed the dusty atmosphere.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • "Sweetheart, you mustn't fret," she soothed, in motherly fashion.


British Dictionary definitions for soothed

soothe

verb
  1. (tr) to make calm or tranquil
  2. (tr) to relieve or assuage (pain, longing, etc)
  3. (intr) to bring tranquillity or relief
Derived Formssoother, noun

Word Origin

C16 (in the sense: to mollify): from Old English sōthian to prove; related to Old Norse sanna to assert; see sooth
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 soothed

soothe

v.

Old English soðian "show to be true," from soð "true" (see sooth). Sense of "quiet, comfort, mollify" is first recorded 1690s, via notion of "to assuage one by asserting that what he says is true" (i.e. to be a yes-man), a sense attested from 1560s (and cf. Old English gesoð "a parasite, flatterer"). Meaning "reduce the intensity" (of a pain, etc.) is from 1711. Related: Soothed; soothing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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