From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English mollifien, from Late Latin mollificō, from Latin mollis (soft).


  • IPA(key): /ˈmɒlɪfaɪ/
  • (file)


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,, page 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,, page 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, chapter 2, in Oliver Twist:
      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, chapter 5, in Rinkitink in Oz:
      The angry goat was quite mollified by the respectful tone in which he was addressed.
    • 1964 July, “News and Comment: Dr. B. beards Scots in their lair”, in Modern Railways, page 15:
      There were no honeyed words from Dr. Beeching to mollify Scottish feeling on rail service closures during his one-day visit in May.
    • 2016 January 31, “Is Huma Abedin Hillary Clinton’s Secret Weapon or Her Next Big Problem?”, in Vanity Fair, retrieved 21 January 2016:
      But these answers did not mollify Grassley. Specifically, he objected to Abedin’s becoming an S.G.E., because he believed she provided no irreplaceable expertise and therefore her designation as one had violated Congress’s intent when it created the program, in 1962.
  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,, page 102:
      By thy kindness thou wilt melt and mollify his spirit towards thee, as hardest metals are melted by coals of fire …


Related terms[edit]