[dih-muhl-suh nt]


soothing or mollifying, as a medicinal substance.


a demulcent substance or agent, often mucilaginous, as for soothing or protecting an irritated mucous membrane.

Origin of demulcent

1725–35; < Latin dēmulcent- (stem of dēmulcēns, present participle of dēmulcere to stroke down, soften), equivalent to dē- de- + mulc(ere) to soothe + -ent- -ent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for demulcent

Historical Examples of demulcent

British Dictionary definitions for demulcent



soothing; mollifying


a drug or agent that soothes the irritation of inflamed or injured skin surfaces

Word Origin for demulcent

C18: from Latin dēmulcēre to caress soothingly, from de- + mulcēre to stroke
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 demulcent

1732, from Latin demulcentem (nominative demulcens), present participle of demulcere "to stroke down, soothingly pet," from de- (see de-) + mulcere "to soothe."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for demulcent




Relieving irritation; soothing.


A soothing, usually mucilaginous or oily substance, such as glycerin or lanolin, used especially to relieve pain in inflamed or irritated mucous membranes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.