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

  • adj. Capable of easing pain or discomfort.
  • n. A lenitive medicine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Analgesic, able to reduce pain or suffering.
  • adj. Mild; gentle.
  • n. An analgesic or other source of relief from pain

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the quality of softening or mitigating, as pain or acrimony; assuasive; emollient.
  • n.
  • n. A medicine or application that has the quality of easing pain or protecting from the action of irritants.
  • n. A mild purgative; a laxative.
  • n. That which softens or mitigates; that which tends to allay passion, excitement, or pain; a palliative.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Assuaging; palliating.
  • n. A medicine or an application that has the quality of easing pain; anything which softens or mitigates.
  • n. Anything which tends to allay passion or excitement; a palliative.

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

  • n. remedy that eases pain and discomfort
  • adj. moderating pain or sorrow by making it easier to bear


Middle English lenitif, from Old French, from Medieval Latin lēnītīvus, from Latin lēnītus, past participle of lēnīre, to soothe, from lēnis, soft; see lē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin lenitivus, from Latin lenitus (Wiktionary)



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  • The drift of the conversation was, as you may perceive, very much in the nature of a lenitive to my stomach...

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 10 ch. 12

    October 10, 2008

  • alleviating pain or harshness; soothing.

    November 20, 2007