SYNONYMS | EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN verb (used without object) to soften in feeling, temper, or determination; become more mild, compassionate, or forgiving. to become less severe; slacken: The winds relented. verb (used with object) . Obsolete to cause to soften in feeling, temper, or determination. . Obsolete to cause to slacken; abate. . Obsolete to abandon; relinquish. Origin of relent 1350–1400; Middle English
Medieval Latin *relentāre,
Latin re- re-
to bend, derivative of
flexible, viscous, slow
Related forms re·lent·ing·ly, adverb non·re·lent·ing, adjective un·re·lent·ed, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for relenting quit
weaken Examples from the Web for relenting Historical Examples of relenting
I gave him hopes of Frederica's
relenting, and told him a great deal of her improvements.
“I am sure I should break down,” said I, trying to find some sign of
relenting in his eyes.
There was no pause, no pity, no
relenting rest in the world's kindness.
She shuddered, and he caught at the fact as a sign of
I am told that she is
relenting—that she has been heard to speak kindly of Clara. British Dictionary definitions for relenting verb (intr) 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 for relent
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
Word Origin and History for relenting v.
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper