mol·​li·​fy | \ ˈmä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce mollify (audio) \
mollified; mollifying

Definition of mollify

transitive verb

1 : to soothe in temper or disposition : appease mollified the staff with a raise
2 : to reduce the rigidity of : soften Shaving cream mollifies the beard.
3 : to reduce in intensity : assuage, temper Time mollified his anger.

Other Words from mollify

mollification \ ˌmä-​lə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce mollify (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for mollify

pacify, appease, placate, mollify, propitiate, conciliate mean to ease the anger or disturbance of. pacify suggests a soothing or calming. pacified by a sincere apology appease implies quieting insistent demands by making concessions. appease their territorial ambitions placate suggests changing resentment or bitterness to goodwill. a move to placate local opposition mollify implies soothing hurt feelings or rising anger. a speech that mollified the demonstrators propitiate implies averting anger or malevolence especially of a superior being. propitiated his parents by dressing up conciliate suggests ending an estrangement by persuasion, concession, or settling of differences. conciliating the belligerent nations

The Difference Between Mollify, Appease, and Placate

Mollify, like its synonyms pacify, appease, and placate, means "to ease the anger or disturbance of." But mollify is particularly well-suited for referring to an act of soothing hurt feelings or anger; it comes from the Latin mollis, meaning "soft."

Examples of mollify in a Sentence

He tried to mollify his critics with an apology. All attempts to mollify the extremists have failed. The landlord fixed the heat, but the tenants still were not mollified.
Recent Examples on the Web In an attempt to mollify its critics, the Trump Organization each year cut a check to the U.S. Treasury for what the company said were its profits from foreign governments. Zach Everson, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 This did not mollify the fans, especially when two French Canadian players taken just after Lafleur in the 1971 draft, Marcel Dionne (Detroit Red Wings) and Richard Martin (Buffalo Sabres), started scoring immediately. David Shoalts, New York Times, 22 Apr. 2022 Those moves to mollify the Republican base are anathema to Democrats, leaving compromise at an impasse. Deepa Fernandes, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Mar. 2022 The Academy's decision to change the format to mollify ABC, which broadcasts the show, has created some buzz about finding a different TV home, one that will celebrate artistry without as much concern about ratings. Brian Lowry, CNN, 22 Mar. 2022 But Sankey, long known for keeping in close touch with his allies and employers, and others worked quietly to mollify the Aggies. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021 Wherever passengers behave badly, flight crews have been forced to mollify or subdue fliers mid-tantrum, often enduring verbal or physical abuse in the process. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 28 Feb. 2022 One way to mollify Putin may be for Biden and European leaders to promise not to bring Ukraine into the NATO fold. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 22 Jan. 2022 But various attempts to mollify Russian concerns about NATO expansion, including the Partnership for Peace, failed. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 23 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mollify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mollify

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for mollify

Middle English mollifien, from Middle French mollifier, from Late Latin mollificare, from Latin mollis soft; akin to Greek amaldynein to soften, Sanskrit mṛdu soft, and probably to Greek malakos soft, amblys dull, Old English meltan to melt

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The first known use of mollify was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mollify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for mollify


mol·​li·​fy | \ ˈmä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce mollify (audio) \
mollified; mollifying

Kids Definition of mollify

: to soothe in temper or disposition

More from Merriam-Webster on mollify

Nglish: Translation of mollify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mollify for Arabic Speakers


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