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From Middle English sothen (to verify, prove the validity of), from Old English sōþian (to verify, prove, confirm, bear witness to), from Proto-Germanic *sanþōną (to prove, certify, acknowledge, testify), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁es- (to be). Cognate with Danish sande (to verify), Swedish sanna (to verify), Icelandic sanna (to verify). See also: sooth.


  • IPA(key): /suːð/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːð


soothe (third-person singular simple present soothes, present participle soothing, simple past and past participle soothed)

  1. (transitive) To restore to ease, comfort, or tranquility; relieve; calm; quiet; refresh.
    • 1697, [William] Congreve, The Mourning Bride, a Tragedy. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 228728136, Act I, page 1:
      Muſick has Charms to ſooth a ſavage Breaſt,
      To ſoften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
    • 2013, Daniel Taylor, Andros Townsend calms England's nerves in taming of Montenegro (in The Guardian, 11 October 2013)[1]
      Yet Wayne Rooney scored at a good time, three minutes after the restart, to soothe any gathering nerves and the night can ultimately be chalked off as one of the finest occasions of Hodgson's 17 months in the job.
  2. (transitive) To allay; assuage; mitigate; soften.
  3. (transitive, rare) To smooth over; render less obnoxious.
  4. (transitive) To calm or placate someone or some situation.
  5. (transitive) To ease or relieve pain or suffering.
    • 1976, The Wurzels, I Am A Cider Drinker
      I am a cider drinker, I drinks it all of the day
      I am a cider drinker, it soothes all me troubles away
  6. (intransitive) To temporise by assent, concession, flattery, or cajolery.
  7. (intransitive) To bring comfort or relief.
  8. (transitive) To keep in good humour; wheedle; cajole; flatter.
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To prove true; verify; confirm as true.
  10. (transitive, obsolete) To confirm the statements of; maintain the truthfulness of (a person); bear out.
  11. (transitive, obsolete) To assent to; yield to; humour by agreement or concession.


Derived terms[edit]