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  1. truth, reality, or fact.
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  1. soothing, soft, or sweet.
  2. true or real.
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Origin of sooth

before 900; Middle English; Old English sōth; cognate with Old Saxon sōth, Old Norse sannr, Gothic sunjis true, Sanskrit sat, sant true, real; akin to is
Related formssooth·ly, adverb


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


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Synonym study

1. See comfort, allay.


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for soother

Historical Examples

  • Be what he asks of you,—his comforter, his soother; be more,—his pride and his joy.

    My Novel, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • He got through a vast amount of work, only soother of the nerves he knew.

  • I am the soother, the joy, the life, the happiness inexhaustible!

  • The location of the seat of government was chosen as the soother.

  • If Ryanne was without the soother, so much the worse for him.

    The Carpet from Bagdad

    Harold MacGrath

British Dictionary definitions for soother


  1. truth or reality (esp in the phrase in sooth)
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  1. true or real
  2. smooth
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Derived Formssoothly, adverb

Word Origin

Old English sōth; related to Old Norse sathr true, Old High German sand, Gothic sunja truth, Latin sōns guilty, sonticus critical


  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

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 soother



Old English soð "truth, justice, righteousness, rectitude; reality, certainty," noun use of soð (adj.) "true, genuine, real; just, righteous," originally *sonð-, from Proto-Germanic *santhaz (cf. Old Norse sannr, Old Saxon soth, Old High German sand "true," Gothic sunja "truth").

The group is related to Old English synn "sin" and Latin sontis "guilty" (truth is related to guilt via "being the one;" see sin (v.)), from PIE *es-ont- "being, existence," thus "real, true," from present participle of root *es-, the s-form of the verb "to be" (see be), preserved in Latin sunt "they are" and German sind. Archaic in English, it is the root of modern words for "true" in Swedish (sann) and Danish (sand). In common use until mid-17c., then obsolete until revived as an archaism early 19c. by Scott, etc. Used for Latin pro- in translating compounds into Old English, e.g. soðtacen "prodigy," soðfylgan "prosequi."

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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