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verb (used with object)
  1. to soothe, console, or reassure; bring cheer to: They tried to comfort her after her loss.
  2. to make physically comfortable.
  3. Obsolete. to aid; support or encourage.
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  1. relief in affliction; consolation; solace: Her presence was a comfort to him.
  2. a feeling of relief or consolation: Her forgiveness afforded him great comfort.
  3. a person or thing that gives consolation: She was a great comfort to him.
  4. a cause or matter of relief or satisfaction: The patient's recovery was a comfort to the doctor.
  5. a state of ease and satisfaction of bodily wants, with freedom from pain and anxiety: He is a man who enjoys his comfort.
  6. something that promotes such a state: His wealth allows him to enjoy a high degree of comfort.
  7. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a comforter or quilt.
  8. Obsolete. strengthening aid; assistance.
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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

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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. 2018

Related Words for comfortless

unpleasant, discomforting, uncomforting

Examples from the Web for comfortless

Historical Examples of comfortless

  • It seemed hard to leave her to such a lonely, comfortless home.

    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

    Anne Bronte

  • For they were the only gods that were left, and a comfortless set of gods they were!

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • He remembered how bare and comfortless he had thought the room.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • I rose, but did not wish to leave him comfortless in 298 the rising wind.

  • A winter mining-camp is the most bleak and comfortless of places.

British Dictionary definitions for comfortless


  1. a state of ease or well-being
  2. relief from affliction, grief, etc
  3. a person, thing, or event that brings solace or ease
  4. obsolete support
  5. (usually plural) something that affords physical ease and relaxation
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verb (tr)
  1. to ease the pain of; soothe; cheer
  2. to bring physical ease to
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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 comfortless



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.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with comfortless


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

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