From Middle English melowe, melwe (“soft, sweet, juicy”), variant of Middle English merow, merwe (“soft, tender”), from Old English meru, mearu (“tender, soft, callow, delicate, frail”), from Proto-Germanic *marwaz (“mellow”), from Proto-Indo-European *mer(w)- (“to rub, pack”). Cognate with Middle Dutch meru (“tender”), German mürbe (“tender, soft”), Swedish mör (“tender; aching”), Icelandic meyr (“tender”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmɛləʊ/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmɛloʊ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛləʊ
- Soft or tender by reason of ripeness; having a tender pulp.
- a mellow apple
- Easily worked or penetrated; not hard or rigid.
- a mellow soil
- flowers of rank and mellow glebe
- Not coarse, rough, or harsh; subdued, soft, rich, delicate; said of sound, color, flavor, style, etc.
- the mellow horn
- the mellow-tasted Burgundy
- The tender flush whose mellow stain imbues / Heaven with all freaks of light.
- Well matured; softened by years; genial; jovial.
- May health return to mellow age.
- Washington Irving
- as merry and mellow an old bachelor as ever followed a hound
- Relaxed; calm; easygoing; laid-back.
- Warmed by liquor, slightly intoxicated; or, stoned, high.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Addison to this entry?)
mellow (plural mellows)
- A relaxed mood.
1997, Neil A. Hamilton, The ABC-CLIO companion to the 1960s counterculture in America, page 258:
- Yet, conversely, some people searched for the mellow ... Hope for flower power had faded, though the journey into the mellow did not
1999, Kurt Andersen, Turn of the century, page 508:
- On their third date, Lizzie had actually said to him, "You're sort of harshing my mellow." It made him wonder if she might be stupid, and not just young.
- (transitive) To make mellow; to relax or soften.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
- J. C. Shairp
- The fervour of early feeling is tempered and mellowed by the ripeness of age.
- (intransitive) To become mellow.