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soothe

[sooth]
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verb (used with object), soothed, sooth·ing.
  1. 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.
  2. to mitigate, assuage, or allay, as pain, sorrow, or doubt: to soothe sunburned skin.
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verb (used without object), soothed, sooth·ing.
  1. to exert a soothing influence; bring tranquillity, calm, ease, or comfort.
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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

Synonyms for soothe

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Synonym study

1. See comfort, allay.

Antonyms for soothe

1. upset, roil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for soothe

mitigate, appease, assuage, relieve, soften, alleviate, pacify, mollify, allay, cool, tranquilize, console, help, subdue, lighten, dulcify, quiet, stroke, hush, cheer

Examples from the Web for soothe

Contemporary Examples of soothe

Historical Examples of soothe

  • Milza endeavoured, in her own artless way, to soothe the distress her words had excited.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Then would Flossy be ready with her gentle drops of oil to soothe the ruffles.

  • Her heart hurt until her hand crept to her side in an effort to soothe it.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • The man continued to address, to expostulate, to pray, to soothe.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • She was pale and frightened; but she had no other care than to soothe him and get him away, for his own dear sake.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens


British Dictionary definitions for soothe

soothe

verb
  1. (tr) to make calm or tranquil
  2. (tr) to relieve or assuage (pain, longing, etc)
  3. (intr) to bring tranquillity or relief
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper