- to soften in feeling, temper, or determination; become more mild, compassionate, or forgiving.
- to become less severe; slacken: The winds relented.
- Obsolete. to cause to soften in feeling, temper, or determination.
- Obsolete. to cause to slacken; abate.
- Obsolete. to abandon; relinquish.
Origin of relent
SynonymsSee more synonyms for relent on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for relent
She begged their father to contact him, refusing to relent until he sent an inquiring telegram.Knocking on Heaven's Door: True Stories of Unexplained, Uncanny Experiences at the Hour of Death
August 11, 2014
Only then does Trudy relent, saying that he should get an apartment in Manhattan.‘Mad Men’ Returns: A Recap of Season Five
April 5, 2013
Then, in 1937, in a 5–4 decision, the Justices began to relent.Is the Supreme Court’s Health-Care Ruling a Turning Point in Constitutional Law?
June 28, 2012
By early Wednesday morning, Abedin had returned, but Weiner sent no signals to Washington that he was ready to relent.How the Dems Toppled Weiner
June 17, 2011
And the senate, pressured by businesses, is in no mood to relent.Why Arizona is Retreating on its Immigration Law
Terry Greene Sterling
March 19, 2011
Wanhope had the effect of appealing to Minver, but the painter would not relent.Questionable Shapes
William Dean Howells
Your mother is of opinion, you say, that at last my friends will relent.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
That it could soften or relent, appeared next to impossible.Little Dorrit
We shrink not from death, nor relent before any of thy gods.The Aeneid of Virgil
If he were to relent and give up his scruples would you marry him?The Tragic Muse
- to change one's mind about some decided course, esp a harsh one; become more mild or amenable
- (of the pace or intensity of something) to slacken
- (of the weather) to become more mild
Word Origin and History for relent
late 14c., "to melt, soften, dissolve," from re- + Latin lentus "slow, viscous, supple" (see lithe), perhaps on model of Old French rallentir. Sense of "become less harsh or cruel" first recorded 1520s. The notion probably is of a hard heart melting with pity. Related: Relented; relenting.