soothe

[sooth]

verb (used with object), soothed, sooth·ing.

to tranquilize or calm, as a person or the feelings; relieve, comfort, or refresh: soothing someone's anger; to soothe someone with a hot drink.
to mitigate, assuage, or allay, as pain, sorrow, or doubt: to soothe sunburned skin.

verb (used without object), soothed, sooth·ing.

to exert a soothing influence; bring tranquillity, calm, ease, or comfort.

Nearby words

  1. soong,
  2. soony,
  3. soot,
  4. sooterkin,
  5. sooth,
  6. soothfast,
  7. soothfastly,
  8. soothing,
  9. soothingly,
  10. soothly

Origin of soothe

before 950; Middle English sothen to verify, Old English sōthian, equivalent to sōth sooth + -ian infinitive suffix; Modern English sense shift “to verify” > “to support (a person's statement)” > “to encourage” > “to calm”

Related formssooth·er, nounself-soothed, adjectiveun·soothed, adjective

Synonym study

1. See comfort, allay.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for soothe


British Dictionary definitions for soothe

soothe

verb

(tr) to make calm or tranquil
(tr) to relieve or assuage (pain, longing, etc)
(intr) to bring tranquillity or relief
Derived Formssoother, noun

Word Origin for soothe

C16 (in the sense: to mollify): from Old English sōthian to prove; related to Old Norse sanna to assert; see sooth

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 soothe

soothe

v.

Old English soðian "show to be true," from soð "true" (see sooth). Sense of "quiet, comfort, mollify" is first recorded 1690s, via notion of "to assuage one by asserting that what he says is true" (i.e. to be a yes-man), a sense attested from 1560s (and cf. Old English gesoð "a parasite, flatterer"). Meaning "reduce the intensity" (of a pain, etc.) is from 1711. Related: Soothed; soothing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper