Definitions

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Etymologies

Middle English ese, from Old French aise, elbowroom, physical comfort, from Vulgar Latin *asium.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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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