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verb (used with object)
to soothe, console, or reassure; bring cheer to: They tried to comfort her after her loss.
to make physically comfortable.
Obsolete. to aid; support or encourage.
relief in affliction; consolation; solace: Her presence was a comfort to him.
a feeling of relief or consolation: Her forgiveness afforded him great comfort.
a person or thing that gives consolation: She was a great comfort to him.
a cause or matter of relief or satisfaction: The patient's recovery was a comfort to the doctor.
a state of ease and satisfaction of bodily wants, with freedom from pain and anxiety: He is a man who enjoys his comfort.
something that promotes such a state: His wealth allows him to enjoy a high degree of comfort.
Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a comforter or quilt.
Obsolete. strengthening aid; assistance.

1175–1225; (v.) Middle English comfortien, variant of confortien, conforten < Anglo-French, Old French conforter < Late Latin confortāre to strengthen, equivalent to con- con- + -fortāre verbal derivative of Latin fortis strong; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French, noun derivative of the v.

comfortless, adjective
uncomforted, adjective

comfit, comfort (see synonym study at the current entry).

1. pacify, calm, solace, gladden. Comfort, console, relieve, soothe imply assuaging sorrow, worry, discomfort, or pain. To comfort is to lessen the sadness or sorrow of someone and to strengthen by inspiring with hope and restoring a cheerful outlook: to comfort a despairing person. Console a more formal word, means to make grief or distress seem lighter, by means of kindness and thoughtful attentions: to console a bereaved parent. Relieve means to lighten, lessen, or remove pain, trouble, discomfort, or hardship: to relieve a needy person. Soothe means to pacify or calm: to soothe a child. 1, 2. ease. 8. See ease.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
comfort (ˈkʌmfət)
1.  a state of ease or well-being
2.  relief from affliction, grief, etc
3.  a person, thing, or event that brings solace or ease
4.  obsolete support
5.  (usually plural) something that affords physical ease and relaxation
6.  to ease the pain of; soothe; cheer
7.  to bring physical ease to
[C13: from Old French confort, from Late Latin confortāre to strengthen very much, from Latin con- (intensive) + fortis strong]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., from O.Fr. conforter "to comfort, help, strengthen," from L.L. confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate), from L. com- intens. prefix + fortis "strong." The n. (early 13c.) replaced O.E. frofor. The noun comforts (as opposed to necessities and luxuries) is from 1650s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Meditation can then be used to prevent pain from coming back by sweeping your
  body and mind with comforting thoughts and images.
The new work seems to contradict that comforting idea.
How comforting to have so much faith in science and humanity.
It is perversely comforting to reflect that people have been anticipating the
  end of the world for so many centuries.
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