mollify

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French mollifier, from Latin molliō (soften, calm), from mollis (soft).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

mollify (third-person singular simple present mollifies, present participle mollifying, simple past and past participle mollified)

  1. To ease a burden, particularly worry; make less painful; to comfort.
    • 1893, Henry George, The Condition of Labor: An Open Letter to Pope Leo XIII, p. 104:
      All that charity can do where injustice exists is here and there to somewhat mollify the effects of injustice.
    • 1997, A Government Reinvented: A Study of Alberta's Deficit Elimination Program, p. 408:
      The draft Charter School Handbook issued in November 1994 sought to mollify concerns over teacher quality, if not ATA membership, by requiring teacher certification.
  2. To appease (anger), pacify, gain the good will of.
    • 1867, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, chapter 2:
      Although this invitation was accompanied with a curtsey that might have softened the heart of a church-warden, it by no means mollified the beadle.
    • 1916, L. Frank Baum, Rinkitink in Oz, chapter 5:
      The angry goat was quite mollified by the respectful tone in which he was addressed.
  3. To soften; to make tender
    • 1662, Henry More, An Antidote Against Atheism, Book III, A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More, p. 113:
      "Nor is it any more difficulty for him to mollifie what is hard, then it is to harden what is so soft and fluid as the Aire."
    • 1724, William Burkitt, Expository Notes, with Practical Observations on the New Testament, p. 102:
      By thy kindness thou wilt melt and mollify his spirit towards thee, as hardest metals are melted by coals of fire …

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