[soo-th ing]


that soothes: a soothing voice.
tending to assuage pain: a soothing cough syrup.

Nearby words

  1. sooterkin,
  2. sooth,
  3. soothe,
  4. soothfast,
  5. soothfastly,
  6. soothingly,
  7. soothly,
  8. soothsay,
  9. soothsayer,
  10. soothsaying

Origin of soothing

First recorded in 1590–1600; soothe + -ing2

Related forms



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.

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

Examples from the Web for soothing

British Dictionary definitions for soothing



having a calming, assuaging, or relieving effect
Derived Formssoothingly, adverbsoothingness, noun



(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 soothing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper