Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 23, 2018 is:
assuage • \uh-SWAYJ\ • verb
2 : to make quiet : pacify
“Prince wrote often and eagerly about the idea of sanctuary—places where his spiritual anxieties were assuaged.” — Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 25 June 2018
“The interview offers a rare glimpse of what Charles might be like as king, and is perhaps an effort to assuage critics who have worried that he would diverge from British monarchs, who are bound by tradition to reign, not rule, over their subjects.” — Palko Karasz, The New York Times, 8 Nov. 2018
Did you know?
Scholars assume that the word assuage derives from assuaviare, a Vulgar Latin term that combines the prefix ad- (“to” or “toward”) and the Latin suavis, meaning “sweet,” “pleasant,” or “agreeable.” (Suavis is also the source of the adjective suave.) To assuage is to sweeten or make agreeable or tolerable, and it is far from the only English word for relieving or softening something difficult. Others include allay, alleviate, and mitigate. Allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms, while alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. Mitigate suggests moderating or countering the force or intensity of something painful.
December 23, 2018 at 01:00PM