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

  • n. The condition of being comfortable or relieved.
  • n. Freedom from pain, worry, or agitation: Her mind was at ease knowing that the children were safe.
  • n. Freedom from constraint or embarrassment; naturalness.
  • n. Freedom from difficulty, hardship, or effort: rose through the ranks with apparent ease.
  • n. Readiness or dexterity in performance; facility: a pianist who played the sonata with ease.
  • n. Freedom from financial difficulty; affluence: a life of luxury and ease.
  • n. A state of rest, relaxation, or leisure: He took his ease by the pond.
  • transitive v. To free from pain, worry, or agitation: eased his conscience by returning the stolen money.
  • transitive v. To lessen the discomfort or pain of: shifted position to ease her back.
  • transitive v. To alleviate; assuage: prescribed a drug to ease the pain.
  • transitive v. To give respite from: eased the staff's burden by hiring more people.
  • transitive v. To slacken the strain, pressure, or tension of; loosen: ease off a cable.
  • transitive v. To reduce the difficulty or trouble of: eased the entrance requirements.
  • transitive v. To move or maneuver slowly and carefully: eased the car into a narrow space; eased the director out of office.
  • intransitive v. To lessen, as in discomfort, pressure, or stress: pain that never eased.
  • intransitive v. To move or proceed with little effort: eased through life doing as little as possible.
  • idiom at ease In a relaxed position, especially standing silently at rest with the right foot stationary: put the soldiers at ease while waiting for inspection.
  • idiom at ease Used as a command for troops to assume a relaxed position.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being comfortable or free from stress.
  • n. Freedom from pain, worry, agitation, etc.
  • n. Freedom from effort, difficulty or hardship.
  • n. Dexterity or facility.
  • n. Affluence and freedom from financial problems.
  • n. Relaxation, rest and leisure.
  • n. Additional space to allow movement within a garment.
  • v. To free (something) from pain, worry, agitation, etc.
  • v. To alleviate, assuage or lessen (pain).
  • v. To give respite to (someone).
  • v. To loosen or slacken the tension on (something).
  • v. To reduce the difficulty of (something).
  • v. To move (something) slowly and carefully.
  • v. To lessen in severity.
  • v. To proceed with little effort.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Satisfaction; pleasure; hence, accommodation; entertainment.
  • n. Freedom from anything that pains or troubles; as: (a) Relief from labor or effort; rest; quiet; relaxation.
  • n. Freedom from care, solicitude, or anything that annoys or disquiets; tranquillity; peace; comfort; security; as, ease of mind.
  • n. Freedom from constraint, formality, difficulty, embarrassment, etc.; facility; liberty; naturalness; -- said of manner, style, etc..
  • v. To free from anything that pains, disquiets, or oppresses; to relieve from toil or care; to give rest, repose, or tranquillity to; -- often with of
  • v. To render less painful or oppressive; to mitigate; to alleviate.
  • v. To release from pressure or restraint; to move gently; to lift slightly; to shift a little.
  • v. To entertain; to furnish with accommodations.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To relieve or free from pain or bodily disquiet or annoyance; give rest or relief to; make comfortable.
  • To free from anxiety, care, or mental disturbance: as, the late news has eased my mind.
  • To release from pressure or tension; lessen or moderate the tension, tightness, weight, closeness, speed, etc., of, as by slacking, lifting slightly, shifting a little, etc.: sometimes with off: as, to ease a ship in a seaway by putting down the helm, or by throwing some cargo overboard; to ease a bar or a nut in machinery.
  • To relieve, as by the removal of a burden or an encumbrance; remove from, as a burden: with of before the thing removed: as, to ease a porter of his load.
  • To mitigate; alleviate; assuage; allay; abate or remove in part, as any burden, pain, grief, anxiety, or disturbance.
  • To render less difficult; facilitate.
  • Synonyms To quiet, calm, tranquilize, still, pacify.
  • To disburden, disencumber.
  • n. An undisturbed state of the body; freedom from labor, pain, or physical annoyance of any kind; tranquil rest; physical comfort: as, he sits at his ease; to take one's ease.
  • n. A quiet state of the mind; freedom from concern, anxiety, solicitude, or anything that frets or ruffles the mind; tranquillity.
  • n. Hence Comfort afforded or provided; satisfaction; relief; entertainment; accommodation.
  • n. Facility; freedom from difficulty or great labor: as, it can be done with great ease.
  • n. Freedom from stiffness, coṅstraint, or formality; unaffectedness: as, ease of style; ease of manner.

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

  • n. a freedom from financial difficulty that promotes a comfortable state
  • v. move gently or carefully
  • n. freedom from difficulty or hardship or effort
  • v. lessen the intensity of or calm
  • n. the condition of being comfortable or relieved (especially after being relieved of distress)
  • n. freedom from activity (work or strain or responsibility)
  • n. freedom from constraint or embarrassment
  • v. make easier
  • v. lessen pain or discomfort; alleviate


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

Middle English ese, from Old French aise, elbowroom, physical comfort, from Vulgar Latin *asium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English ese, eise ("ease"), from Anglo-Norman ese ("ease"), Old French aise, eise ("convenience, leisure, comfort"), of unknown origin. Earliest meaning was that of "empty space, elbow-room, opportunity". Conflicting forms in Romance point to an external, non-Latin origin . Probably from a Germanic or Celtic source. Compare Old English ēaþe ("easy"), Gothic 𐌰𐌶𐌴𐍄𐌹 (azēti, "ease, pleasure"), Gothic 𐌰𐌶𐌴𐍄𐍃 (azēts, "easy"), Breton eaz, ez ("easy"), Irish adhais ("easy, leisure"). See also eath.



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  • They came at a delicate plane, called Ease, where they went with much content; but that plain was but narrow, so they went quickly over it.

    John Bunyan (1628-1688), Pilgrim's Progress

    September 20, 2009