[ ri-lent ]
See synonyms for: relentrelentedrelenting on

verb (used without object)
  1. to soften in feeling, temper, or determination; become more mild, compassionate, or forgiving.

  2. to become less severe; slacken: The winds relented.

verb (used with object)
  1. Obsolete. to cause to soften in feeling, temper, or determination.

  2. Obsolete. to cause to slacken; abate.

  1. Obsolete. to abandon; relinquish.

Origin of relent

1350–1400; Middle English <Medieval Latin *relentāre, equivalent to Latin re-re- + lentāre to bend, derivative of lentus flexible, viscous, slow

Other words for relent

Other words from relent

  • re·lent·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·re·lent·ing, adjective
  • un·re·lent·ed, adjective

Words Nearby relent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use relent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for relent


/ (rɪˈlɛnt) /

  1. to change one's mind about some decided course, esp a harsh one; become more mild or amenable

  2. (of the pace or intensity of something) to slacken

  1. (of the weather) to become more mild

Origin of relent

C14: from re- + Latin lentāre to bend, from lentus flexible, tenacious

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