Origin of mellow

1400–50; late Middle English mel(o)we, alteration (perhaps by dissimilation, in phrase meruw fruit) of Middle English meruw, Old English meru soft
Related formsmel·low·ly, adverbmel·low·ness, nouno·ver·mel·low, adjectiveo·ver·mel·low·ly, adverbo·ver·mel·low·ness, nounun·mel·low, adjectiveun·mel·lowed, adjective

Synonyms for mellow

1. See ripe. 9. develop, mature, improve.

Antonyms for mellow

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for mellow

mellow

adjective

(esp of fruits) full-flavoured; sweet; ripe
(esp of wines) well-matured
(esp of colours or sounds) soft or rich
kind-hearted, esp through maturity or old age
genial, as through the effects of alcohol
(of soil) soft and loamy

verb

to make or become mellow; soften; mature
(foll by out) to become calm and relaxed or (esp of a drug) to have a calming or relaxing effect on (someone)
Derived Formsmellowly, adverbmellowness, noun

Word Origin for mellow

C15: perhaps from Old English meru soft (as through ripeness)
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 mellow
adj.

mid-15c., melwe "soft, sweet, juicy" (of ripe fruit), perhaps related to melowe, variant of mele "ground grain" (see meal (2)), influenced by Middle English merow "soft, tender," from Old English mearu. Meaning "slightly drunk" is from 1680s. Mellow yellow "banana peel smoked in an effort to get high" is from 1967. Related: Mellowly; mellowness.

v.

1570s, from mellow (adj.). Related: Mellowed; mellowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper