[ mel-oh ]
See synonyms for: mellowmellowedmellowingmellowness on

adjective,mel·low·er, mel·low·est.
  1. soft, sweet, and full-flavored from ripeness, as fruit.

  2. well-matured, as wines.

  1. soft and rich, as sound, tones, color, or light.

  2. made gentle and compassionate by age or maturity; softened.

  3. friable or loamy, as soil.

  4. mildly and pleasantly intoxicated or high.

  5. pleasantly agreeable; free from tension, discord, etc.: a mellow neighborhood.

  6. affably relaxed; easygoing; genial: a mellow teacher who is very popular with her students.

verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become mellow.

  1. Slang. a state, atmosphere, or mood of ease and gentle relaxation.

Verb Phrases
  1. mellow out, Slang.

    • to become detached from worry, strife, stress, etc.; relax: After final exams let's go down to the beach and mellow out.

    • to make more relaxed, agreeable, workable, etc.; soften or smooth: Chopin really mellows me out when I'm feeling tense.

Origin of mellow

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English mel(o)we, alteration (perhaps by dissimilation, in phrase meruw fruit) of Middle English meruw,Old English meru “soft”

synonym study For mellow

1. See ripe.

Other words for mellow

Opposites for mellow

Other words from mellow

  • mel·low·ly, adverb
  • mel·low·ness, noun
  • o·ver·mel·low, adjective
  • o·ver·mel·low·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·mel·low·ness, noun
  • un·mel·low, adjective
  • un·mel·lowed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use mellow in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mellow


/ (ˈmɛləʊ) /

  1. (esp of fruits) full-flavoured; sweet; ripe

  2. (esp of wines) well-matured

  1. (esp of colours or sounds) soft or rich

  2. kind-hearted, esp through maturity or old age

  3. genial, as through the effects of alcohol

  4. (of soil) soft and loamy

  1. to make or become mellow; soften; mature

  2. (foll by out) to become calm and relaxed or (esp of a drug) to have a calming or relaxing effect on (someone)

Origin of mellow

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

Derived forms of mellow

  • mellowly, adverb
  • mellowness, noun

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