Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To make (something burdensome or painful) less intense or severe: assuage her grief. See Synonyms at relieve.
  • transitive v. To satisfy or appease (hunger or thirst, for example).
  • transitive v. To pacify or calm: assuage their chronic insecurity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To lessen the intensity of, to mitigate or relieve (hunger, emotion, pain etc.).
  • v. To pacify or soothe (someone).
  • v. (obsolete) To calm down, become less violent (of passion, hunger etc.); to subside, to abate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To soften, in a figurative sense; to allay, mitigate, ease, or lessen, as heat, pain, or grief; to appease or pacify, as passion or tumult; to satisfy, as appetite or desire.
  • intransitive v. To abate or subside.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To soften, in a figurative sense; allay; mitigate, ease, or lessen, as pain or grief; moderate; appease or pacify, as passion or tumult.
  • Synonyms Alleviate, Relieve, Mitigate, etc. (see alleviate); to appease, mollify, temper (see lists under alleviate and allay).
  • To abate or subside; grow less: as, “let thin hert assuage,” Gower; “the waters asswaged,”

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

  • v. satisfy (thirst)
  • v. provide physical relief, as from pain
  • v. cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of

Etymologies

Middle English asswagen, from Old French assuagier, from Vulgar Latin *assuāviāre : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin suāvis, sweet, delightful; see swād- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English aswagen, from Old French assouagier "appease, calm", from Vulgar Latin assuaviare, derived from Latin ad- "ad-" + suavis "sweet". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The move would be to "assuage" DT holders who are "disenchanted" with the performance of the German telco's stock, the Journal says.

    Abnormal Returns Now

  • To assuage those concerns, we have looked hard to see if we have missed the real story.

    American Grace

  • Upcoming second-quarter results may do little to assuage such fears.

    Will Generous Pay on the Street Hit a Wall?

  • Sometimes numbers invoke or ask for favors; other times they assuage hurt feelings in the hope of preventing malign events.

    A Museum of Numbers

  • Nothing you do will assuage the misery of your lonely empty life.

    Think Progress » DOJ official reportedly clears torture architects John Yoo and Jay Bybee.

  • So I think people that are urging war crime trials ought to spend more time trying to assuage worries, e.g. that war crime trials would be seen as illegitimate, would provoke a nationalistic backlash, would start a civil war, or something along those lines, instead of just shouting “principals” and “the law ought to apply to the powerful just as much as the not-powerful” both of which I agree with. pseudonymous in nc Says:

    Matthew Yglesias » Requests We Can Believe In

  • Seeking to assuage fears that Argos could be losing ground to rivals, Mr. Duddy said the store had maintained its market share in consumer electronics and the slump in demand was industrywide.

    Retailers Slump as Argos Sales Plummet

  • Paris insisted right after the Fukushima accident that French plants were safe, but wanted inspections as a precautionary measure to assuage any fears in the French population.

    France to Check Its Nuclear Plants

  • Despite a recent EU agreement to help assuage the euro-zone debt crisis, bond market participants fear it may flare again at any time.

    Treasurys Fall, But Not So Hard

  • And I don't see anywhere that our President thanked president nut-case in NKorea ... sending Bubba was enough to assuage the super-ego to do what he knew he'd have to do all along.

    Obama applauds release of freed American journalists

Comments

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  • Dictionary.com, There are many ways to assuage the fears of the American public.

    November 5, 2010

  • Time can assuage the pangs of love, but only death can still the anguish of wounded vanity.
    (W.S. Maugham)

    March 11, 2008

  • Looks good, sounds good, and has a good effect or result. Should be a great brand name, if joe sixpack can get past the initial obvious crudity. "Assuage, because you care..."

    December 2, 2006