Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday November 26, 2008
emollient \ih-MOL-yuhnt\ , adjective:
1. softening or soothing
1. something that softens or soothes
But his more emollient approach, winning hearts and minds through old-fashioned forms of persuasion, will also be crucial to building a coalition willing to act against Saddam's most dangerous weapons.
-- J.F.O. McAllister, In The Line Of Fire, Time, March 24, 1998
He unties the red rag, sweat-blackened, from around his neck and, dressed only in his wide-brimmed hat, steps into the tub, his feet, so recently liberated, reveling in the emollient power of the steaming water, seasoned with bath salts whose aroma bespeaks a distant land, one where flowers grow, or grew.
-- Robert Coover, Ghost Town
During this anxious time, the little girl 'acted as a useful emollient to jaded nerves,' a kind of harp-playing David to the troubled Monarch's Saul.
-- Ben Pimlott, The Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth II
by 1643, from French emollient, from Latin emollientem, prp. of emollire "soften," from ex- "out" + mollire "soften," from mollis "soft."