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


Examples from the Web for mellowing

Contemporary Examples of mellowing

Historical Examples of mellowing

  • Mellowing rapidly, he was a pleasanter companion than before.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • Slowly the mellowing influence of the grape pronounced itself.

  • She had her boys, the sunsets and sunrises, the mellowing beauty of the year.

    The Heart of Rachael

    Kathleen Norris

  • It was like moonlight to the earth, mellowing and softening all lines and angles.

    Dawn

    Mrs. Harriet A. Adams

  • "It was for one fellow, though," he continued, mellowing as he mused in his recollections.

    Blindfolded

    Earle Ashley Walcott


British Dictionary definitions for mellowing

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 mellowing

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.

mellow

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper