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relent

[ri-lent] /rɪˈlɛnt/
verb (used without object)
1.
to soften in feeling, temper, or determination; become more mild, compassionate, or forgiving.
2.
to become less severe; slacken:
The winds relented.
verb (used with object)
3.
Obsolete. to cause to soften in feeling, temper, or determination.
4.
Obsolete. to cause to slacken; abate.
5.
Obsolete. to abandon; relinquish.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin *relentāre, equivalent to Latin re- re- + lentāre to bend, derivative of lentus flexible, viscous, slow
Related forms
relentingly, adverb
nonrelenting, adjective
unrelented, adjective
Synonyms
1. bend, yield.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for relent
  • He was eventually forced to relent after public demonstrations.
  • If anyone thinks these people are going to go away or relent, they're deranged.
  • We cannot relent from our enforcement of laws that keep our nation's workers safe.
  • Sales dropped by a third, forcing the store owners to relent.
  • The brewing discontent ultimately caused us to relent and put this rule out for comment.
  • We must not relent until our people are safe from this threat to civilization.
  • He refused to relent, even after repeated entreaties.
  • He begged them to stop hitting him and they did not relent.
  • Spouses sometimes relent under the pressure of extended separation and expanded responsibilities and file for divorce.
British Dictionary definitions for relent

relent

/rɪˈlɛnt/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to change one's mind about some decided course, esp a harsh one; become more mild or amenable
2.
(of the pace or intensity of something) to slacken
3.
(of the weather) to become more mild
Word Origin
C14: from re- + Latin lentāre to bend, from lentus flexible, tenacious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for relent
relent
late 14c., "to melt, soften, dissolve," from re-, intensive prefix + L. lentus "slow, viscous, supple" (see lithe). Sense of "become less harsh or cruel" first recorded 1520s. The notion is probably of a hard heart melting with pity.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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