comfort

[kuhm-fert]

verb (used with object)

noun


Origin of comfort

1175–1225; (v.) Middle English comfortien, variant of confortien, conforten < Anglo-French, Old French conforter < Late Latin confortāre to strengthen, equivalent to con- con- + -fortāre verbal derivative of Latin fortis strong; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French, noun derivative of the v.
Related formscom·fort·less, adjectiveun·com·fort·ed, adjective
Can be confusedcomfit comfort

Synonyms for comfort

1. pacify, calm, solace, gladden. 1, 2. ease.

Synonym study

1. Comfort, console, relieve, soothe imply assuaging sorrow, worry, discomfort, or pain. To comfort is to lessen the sadness or sorrow of someone and to strengthen by inspiring with hope and restoring a cheerful outlook: to comfort a despairing person. Console, a more formal word, means to make grief or distress seem lighter, by means of kindness and thoughtful attentions: to console a bereaved parent. Relieve means to lighten, lessen, or remove pain, trouble, discomfort, or hardship: to relieve a needy person. Soothe means to pacify or calm: to soothe a child. 8. See ease.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for comfort

Contemporary Examples of comfort

Historical Examples of comfort

  • God knows I ain't discountin' the comfort I've always took in him.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • No doubt it was true, for she would have insisted on moderate cleanliness and comfort.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • You are welcome to all the comfort you can find in your present situation.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • However, there was one comfort—English tongues answered, if it was only with denials.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Everybody was drawn to her, yet not a soul took any comfort in her.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson


British Dictionary definitions for comfort

comfort

noun

a state of ease or well-being
relief from affliction, grief, etc
a person, thing, or event that brings solace or ease
obsolete support
(usually plural) something that affords physical ease and relaxation

verb (tr)

to ease the pain of; soothe; cheer
to bring physical ease to
Derived Formscomforting, adjectivecomfortingly, adverbcomfortless, adjectivecomfortlessly, adverbcomfortlessness, noun

Word Origin for comfort

C13: from Old French confort, from Late Latin confortāre to strengthen very much, from Latin con- (intensive) + fortis strong
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 comfort
v.

late 13c., conforten "to cheer up, console," from Old French conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate), from Latin com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + fortis "strong" (see fort). Change of -n- to -m- began in English 14c. Related: Comforted; comforting.

n.

c.1200, "feeling of relief" (as still in to take comfort in something); also "source of alleviation or relief;" from Old French confort (see comfort (v.)). Replaced Old English frofor. Comforts (as opposed to necessities and luxuries) is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with comfort

comfort

see cold comfort; creature comforts; too close for comfort.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.