Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Soft, sweet, juicy, and full-flavored because of ripeness: a mellow fruit.
  • adj. Suggesting softness or sweetness: "The mellow air brought in the feel of imminent autumn” ( Thomas Hardy).
  • adj. Rich and soft in quality: a mellow sound; a mellow wine.
  • adj. Having the gentleness, wisdom, or tolerance often characteristic of maturity.
  • adj. Relaxed and unhurried; easygoing: a mellow friend; a mellow conversation.
  • adj. Slang Slightly and pleasantly intoxicated.
  • adj. Slang Pleasantly high from a drug, especially from smoking marijuana.
  • adj. Moist, rich, soft, and loamy. Used of soil.
  • transitive v. To make or become mellow.
  • mellow out Slang To become genial and pleasant; relax: "The cowboy mellowed out when they read him a sweet letter from his wife” ( Bobbie Ann Mason).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Soft or tender by reason of ripeness; having a tender pulp; as, a mellow apple.
  • adj. Easily worked or penetrated; not hard or rigid; as, a mellow soil.
  • adj. Not coarse, rough, or harsh; subdued, soft, rich, delicate; -- said of sound, color, flavor, style, etc.
  • adj. Well matured; softened by years; genial; jovial.
  • adj. Relaxed; calm; easygoing; laid-back.
  • adj. Warmed by liquor, slightly intoxicated; or, stoned, high.
  • n. A relaxed mood.
  • v. To become mellow.
  • v. To relax or soften.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Soft or tender by reason of ripeness; having a tender pulp.
  • adj.
  • adj. Easily worked or penetrated; not hard or rigid.
  • adj. Not coarse, rough, or harsh; subdued; soft; rich; delicate; -- said of sound, color, flavor, style, etc.
  • adj. Well matured; softened by years; genial; jovial.
  • adj. Warmed by liquor; slightly intoxicated.
  • intransitive v. To become mellow.
  • transitive v. To make mellow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Soft, especially from ripeness; easily yielding to pressure: as, a mellow peach.
  • Soft and friable, as earth; loamy.
  • Soft, rich, or delicate to the touch, eye, ear, palate, etc., as color, sound, flavor, and the like.
  • Having the character or appearance of maturity; showing ripeness; of ripe age or quality; perfected; matured.
  • Softened or matured by length of years; toned down by the lapse of time; kindly disposed; good-humored; genial; jovial.
  • Rendered good-humored or genial by liquor; somewhat under the influence of liquor; half-tipsy.
  • Of sounds, soft and rich; characterized by many and well-balanced overtones.
  • To ripen; bring to maturity; soften by ripeness or age; give richness, flavor, or delicacy to.
  • To soften; pulverize; make friable: as, earth is mellowed by frost.
  • To soften in character; render more perfect or more agreeable; tone or smooth down; mature; improve.
  • To become soft; be ripened, matured, or brought to perfection.
  • To soften in character; become toned down.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. soften, make mellow
  • adv. (obsolete) in a mellow manner
  • adj. having attained to kindliness or gentleness through age and experience
  • adj. unhurried and relaxed
  • adj. having attained to kindliness or gentleness through age and experience
  • adj. having a full and pleasing flavor through proper aging
  • adj. slightly and pleasantly intoxicated from alcohol or a drug (especially marijuana)
  • v. become more relaxed, easygoing, or genial
  • v. make or grow (more) mellow

Etymologies

Middle English melwe, perhaps from melowe, oblique case of mele, ground grain, meal; see meal1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English melowe, melwe ("soft, sweet, juicy"), variant of Middle English merow, merwe ("soft, tender"), from Old English meru, mearu ("tender, soft, callow, delicate, frail"), from Proto-Germanic *marwaz (“mellow”), from Proto-Indo-European *mer(w)- (“to rub, pack”). Cognate with Middle Dutch meru ("tender"), German mürbe ("tender, soft"), Old Norse meyrr ("tender") (whence Icelandic meyr ("tender")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The amenities of life spring up only in mellow lands, where the sun is warm and the earth fat.

    CHAPTER 20

  • A little scrambling and tearing through vines soon brought the children down to the banks of a broad, rather shallow river, whose waters were of that lustrous yellow-brown which makes every stone gleam up from the bottom in mellow colors, like the tints through the varnish of an old picture.

    Oldtown Folks

  • Seriously, I don’t like the eye doc appointments at all … sorry your day was such a large adventure, sometimes mellow is better than certain types of excitement … on February 5, 2008 at 10: 51 am | Reply Deutlich omg. i could hardly finish reading this without LITERALLY squirming in my chair because ow ow ow and ew ew ew and aaaaaaahhhhh squicked! that’s what i am. eye docs and dentists?

    Dilated, deaf, and disoriented. «

  • Details came through, and in mellow passages, like the tender episodes of Stravinsky’s “Firebird” as performed by the brilliant young conductor Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the sound was warm and plush.

    London Journal: Second Thoughts on the New Acoustics - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Though it couldn't all be classified as mellow, I'll have to second Jens' Acid Jazz note; The Night Trains' "A Bad Trip" would seem to back this up.

    mellow funk instrumentals - Anil Dash

  • "Well, I'm damned if it isn't Waring Ridgway," called a mellow voice from across the gulch.

    Ridgway of Montana (Story of To-Day, in Which the Hero Is Also the Villain)

  • Its tone is described as mellow and extremely beautiful, but lacking in brilliancy.

    For Every Music Lover A Series of Practical Essays on Music

  • In each build the tone could be characterized as a mellow tone with good sustain and projection.

    Mandolin Cafe News

  • And seeing your post I am assuming it's a smooth coat, as Black & Tan isn't a wirehaired color and Longhair Doxies usually are much more "mellow" than the other Miniature Doxie types!

    Stop New-Shotgun Misfires with Break Free CLP

  • After the rigors of the first night out in Jakarta, "mellow" is a good theme for the second night.

    After Hours in Jakarta

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