Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The condition of being comfortable or relieved.
  • noun Freedom from pain, worry, or agitation.
  • noun Freedom from constraint or embarrassment; naturalness.
  • noun Freedom from difficulty, hardship, or effort.
  • noun Readiness or dexterity in performance; facility.
  • noun Freedom from financial difficulty; affluence.
  • noun A state of rest, relaxation, or leisure.
  • intransitive verb To free from pain, worry, or agitation.
  • intransitive verb To lessen the discomfort or pain of.
  • intransitive verb To alleviate; assuage.
  • intransitive verb To give respite from.
  • intransitive verb To slacken the strain, pressure, or tension of; loosen.
  • intransitive verb To reduce the difficulty or trouble of.
  • intransitive verb To move or maneuver slowly and carefully.
  • intransitive verb To lessen, as in discomfort, pressure, or stress.
  • intransitive verb To move or proceed with little effort.
  • idiom (at ease) In a relaxed position, especially standing silently at rest with the right foot stationary.
  • idiom (at ease) Used as a command for troops to assume a relaxed position.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A quiet state of the mind; freedom from concern, anxiety, solicitude, or anything that frets or ruffles the mind; tranquillity.
  • noun Hence Comfort afforded or provided; satisfaction; relief; entertainment; accommodation.
  • noun Facility; freedom from difficulty or great labor: as, it can be done with great ease.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Satisfaction; pleasure; hence, accommodation; entertainment.
  • noun Freedom from anything that pains or troubles; as: (a) Relief from labor or effort; rest; quiet; relaxation.
  • noun Freedom from care, solicitude, or anything that annoys or disquiets; tranquillity; peace; comfort; security; as, ease of mind.
  • noun Freedom from constraint, formality, difficulty, embarrassment, etc.; facility; liberty; naturalness; -- said of manner, style, etc..
  • noun free from pain, trouble, or anxiety.
  • noun See under Chapel.
  • noun not at ease, disquieted; suffering; anxious.
  • noun (Mil.) to stand in a comfortable attitude in one's place in the ranks.
  • noun easily; without much effort.
  • verb 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
  • verb To render less painful or oppressive; to mitigate; to alleviate.
  • verb To release from pressure or restraint; to move gently; to lift slightly; to shift a little.
  • verb obsolete To entertain; to furnish with accommodations.
  • verb (Naut.) to slacken a rope gradually.
  • verb (Naut.) to put the helm hard, or regulate the sail, to prevent pitching when closehauled.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English ese, from Old French aise, elbowroom, physical comfort, from Vulgar Latin *adiacēs, adiac-*adiac-, alteration of Latin adiacēns, adiacent-, present participle of adiacēre, to lie near; see adjacent.]

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.

Examples

Comments

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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