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[sooth] /suð/
verb (used with object), soothed, soothing.
to tranquilize or calm, as a person or the feelings; relieve, comfort, or refresh:
soothing someone's anger; to soothe someone with a hot drink.
to mitigate, assuage, or allay, as pain, sorrow, or doubt:
to soothe sunburned skin.
verb (used without object), soothed, soothing.
to exert a soothing influence; bring tranquillity, calm, ease, or comfort.
Origin of soothe
before 950; Middle English sothen to verify, Old English sōthian, equivalent to sōth sooth + -ian infinitive suffix; Modern English sense shift “to verify” > “to support (a person's statement)” > “to encourage” > “to calm”
Related forms
soother, noun
self-soothed, adjective
unsoothed, adjective
1. See comfort, allay. 2. alleviate, appease, mollify.
1. upset, roil. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for soothe
  • Driving through the beautiful forests and minimal traffic was not enough to soothe my jangled nerves.
  • The charitable rich do their bit to soothe the social tensions that arise from growing inequality.
  • Not only does warm water soothe us, it can combat loneliness.
  • The government has tried to soothe public nerves by promising to protect investors.
  • But they soothe your nerves even when unplugged from an audio source.
  • Monitors were instructed to soothe patients via supportive talk or touch if they experienced any anxiety.
  • Scholars do ascribe calming qualities to the color: to soothe the unruly, many drunk tanks and jail cells are painted pink.
  • UN peacekeepers quickly intervened to soothe tempers.
  • The furniture and interior designer selected items to help soothe the soul, starting with a few key high-quality pieces.
  • There is also a calming mist that plugs into the wall socket that may soothe him.
British Dictionary definitions for soothe


(transitive) to make calm or tranquil
(transitive) to relieve or assuage (pain, longing, etc)
(intransitive) to bring tranquillity or relief
Derived Forms
soother, noun
Word Origin
C16 (in the sense: to mollify): from Old English sōthian to prove; related to Old Norse sanna to assert; see sooth
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 soothe

Old English soðian "show to be true," from soð "true" (see sooth). Sense of "quiet, comfort, mollify" is first recorded 1690s, via notion of "to assuage one by asserting that what he says is true" (i.e. to be a yes-man), a sense attested from 1560s (and cf. Old English gesoð "a parasite, flatterer"). Meaning "reduce the intensity" (of a pain, etc.) is from 1711. Related: Soothed; soothing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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