blandishment

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From blandish (to persuade someone by using flattery, to cajole; to praise someone dishonestly, to flatter or butter up) +‎ -ment (suffix forming nouns from verbs, having the sense of ‘the action or result of what is denoted by the verbs’).[1] Blandish is derived from Middle English blaundishen (to flatter; to fawn; to be enticing or persuasive; to be favourable; of the sea: to become calm) [and other forms] (whence blaundice (flattery, blandishment; caresses, dalliance; allurement, attractiveness; deceitfulness, deception) [and other forms]),[2] from Anglo-Norman blaundishen,[3] from blandiss-, the extended stem of Middle French blandir + Middle English -ishen (suffix forming verbs).[4] Blandir is derived from Latin blandīrī, the present active infinitive of blandior (to fawn, flatter; to delude), from blandus (fawning, flattering, smooth, suave; persuasive; alluring, enticing, seductive; agreeable, pleasant) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)mel- (erroneous, false; bad, evil)) + -iō (suffix forming causative verbs from adjectives).[5]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

blandishment (plural blandishments)

  1. (countable) Often in the plural form blandishments: a flattering speech or action designed to influence or persuade.
    Synonyms: cajolery; see also Thesaurus:flattery
    • 1755, Joseph Trapp, transl., “Æneis”, in The Works of Virgil, volume II, book 6, lines 600–604, pages 376–377:
      Thus Her with Indignation frowning, ſtern, / With Tears, and Blandiſhments Æneas ſooth’d : / She bends here Eyes averſe upon the Ground ; / And by his Speech begun is mov’d no more, / Than a hard Flint, or fix’d Marpeſian Rock.
    • 1835, William Gilmore Simms, The Partisan, Harper, Chapter V, page 66:
      She looked up as she heard his footsteps, and the gracious smile which her lips put on, was an invitation to make himself happy in a seat beside her. But he resisted the blandishment, and lifting his hat as he passed, with a smile in return, he soon disappeared from her presence, and joined the two who awaited him.
    • 1907, Barbara Baynton, Sally Krimmer and Alan Lawson, editors, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, page 187:
      Pat found subject and scene of his wooing unaltered, but all his specious blandishments could not induce the matured matron of 'Gi' Away Nothin' 'All' to join fortunes, though his perseverance would have delighted Bruce's spider.
  2. (countable) Something alluring or attractive.
  3. (uncountable, figuratively) Allurement, attraction.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ blandishment, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1887; “blandishment, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ blaundice, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ blaundishen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ -ish(e(n, suf.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  5. ^ blandish, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1887; “blandish, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further reading[edit]