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soothing

[soo-th ing] /ˈsu ðɪŋ/
adjective
1.
that soothes:
a soothing voice.
2.
tending to assuage pain:
a soothing cough syrup.
Origin of soothing
1590-1600
First recorded in 1590-1600; soothe + -ing2
Related forms
soothingly, adverb
soothingness, noun
oversoothing, adjective
oversoothingly, adverb
self-soothing, adjective
unsoothing, adjective
unsoothingly, adverb

soothe

[sooth] /suð/
verb (used with object), soothed, soothing.
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, soothing.
3.
to exert a soothing influence; bring tranquillity, calm, ease, or comfort.
Origin
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 forms
soother, noun
self-soothed, adjective
unsoothed, adjective
Synonyms
2. alleviate, appease, mollify.
Antonyms
1. upset, roil.
Synonym Study
1. See comfort, allay.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for soothing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In low and soothing tones, the maiden inquired, "Where did we go, Paralus?"

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • A still, pale fog is soothing; it lulls nature to a kind of repose.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • The girls were soothing me and fussing over me when Aunt Frank opened the door.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • I am glad that there is soothing in these dried leaves for those who require it.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • It was soothing to his eyes, so used to the darkness of the Nibelungs' cavern.

British Dictionary definitions for soothing

soothing

/ˈsuːðɪŋ/
adjective
1.
having a calming, assuaging, or relieving effect
Derived Forms
soothingly, adverb
soothingness, noun

soothe

/suːð/
verb
1.
(transitive) to make calm or tranquil
2.
(transitive) to relieve or assuage (pain, longing, etc)
3.
(intransitive) to bring tranquillity or relief
Derived Forms
soother, 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
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Word Origin and History for soothing
adj.

1590s, "flattering," from present participle of soothe. Sense of "mollifying" is from 1746. Related: Soothingly.

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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