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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 from the web for relented
  • We relented one morning, and against our better judgment opened the coop door and bid them adieu.
  • People's determination to reunite with their families was so strong that the state relented.
  • After backlash from agency groups, they relented and modified their planned changes.
  • When the scale of the catastrophe became clear, they relented and invited aid groups back.
  • The commission relented and held the comment period open longer only after consumers and affected businesses protested.
  • At first, the firefighter turned down the offer, but finally relented.
  • As predicted, the agent there held them up, then finally relented.
  • Camp officials eventually relented and allowed her to be moved to the prison's medical center.
British Dictionary definitions for relented

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 relented

relent

v.

late 14c., "to melt, soften, dissolve," from re- + Latin lentus "slow, viscous, supple" (see lithe), perhaps on model of Old French rallentir. Sense of "become less harsh or cruel" first recorded 1520s. The notion probably is of a hard heart melting with pity. Related: Relented; relenting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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