- 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 relenting
I gave him hopes of Frederica's relenting, and told him a great deal of her improvements.Lady Susan
“I am sure I should break down,” said I, trying to find some sign of relenting in his eyes.The First Violin
There was no pause, no pity, no relenting rest in the world's kindness.The Manxman
She shuddered, and he caught at the fact as a sign of relenting.Masterpieces of Mystery
I am told that she is relenting—that she has been heard to speak kindly of Clara.The Old Countess; or, The Two Proposals
Ann S. Stephens
- 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 relenting
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.