Definition of ease in US English:

ease

noun

  • 1Absence of difficulty or effort.

    ‘he gave up tobacco and alcohol with ease’
    ‘the guitar's versatility and ease of handling’
    • ‘Safe areas also minimized ‘permeability,’ that is, the ease of entry to and exit from the neighborhood or housing area.’
    • ‘Let's get back to Europe now, the financing of these groups, the ease of travel since the European Union dropped travel restrictions.’
    • ‘Presented with a gilt-edged chance, Gardyne attempted to lift his shot over Craig Wight, but the goalkeeper caught the effort with ease.’
    • ‘A patchwork of conflicting laws will do nothing to improve the ease of use of e-mail communications.’
    • ‘Given the ease of desktop publishing, use a font that people can read and provide adequate space for writing responses.’
    • ‘Explosive growth has even come to Egyptology, thanks to the ease with which source materials can now be distributed by CD and online.’
    • ‘Among other things, the ease with which they traveled around the world is striking.’
    • ‘Usually everything goes off so well that it looks as if putting together a show of this kind, could be done with effortless ease.’
    • ‘We observed the ease of communication among focus group women, with one group even claiming that the data collection exercise was therapeutic in itself.’
    • ‘To many industry professionals, though, the exam's difficulty or ease isn't really the point.’
    • ‘The pair handled the difficult combinations with ease, and the horse flowed across the ground.’
    • ‘The absence of long cords and the ease of getting the tool into tight or awkward places are what make cordless tools so valuable.’
    • ‘Both of these items are reasonably priced, reasonably sized, and designed in a way that can minimize discomfort but maximize ease of use.’
    • ‘More and more, people are opting for the ease of watching the games at home.’
    • ‘It is just as easy to imagine the relative ease of compiling such information when the separate records are entered into online databases.’
    • ‘How has the final sound mixing gone in terms of difficulty or ease?’
    • ‘I was really impressed with the ease of use, ergonomics, and functionality built into the web meeting application.’
    • ‘Everyone is welcome, though I can't vouch for the ease of finding parking if you're coming in from outside Stanford.’
    • ‘The orchestra responds beautifully, handling even the composer's sometimes difficult rhythmic effects with ease.’
    • ‘Women retained their rights to manage their own money and property after marriage and could obtain a divorce with the same ease - or difficulty - as a man.’
    effortlessness, no difficulty, no trouble, no bother, facility, facileness, simplicity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Absence of rigidity or discomfort; poise.
      ‘I was always vexed by her self-contained ease’
      • ‘He speculates about the personal stories of strangers in bars and offers up tales of his childhood with the ease of a trusted friend.’
      • ‘Thomas's rise has been marked as much by her keen sense of timing as by her natural ease on camera.’
      • ‘In a report packed with adjectives, another daily claimed that Anna answered questions with effortless ease.’
      • ‘Fortunately, some others navigated through the weekend with ease and good humor.’
      • ‘His natural ease in front of the camera led to a contract with CBS.’
      • ‘But it's not clear to me he quite yet has the ease and command in debate settings that he'll need in a narrowed down race.’
      • ‘Washed and crumpled cotton, silk and linen contribute to a tone of ease and effortless femininity.’
      • ‘With the ease of a talented DJ, Thornton engages in a form of culture jamming that is at once global and highly personal.’
      • ‘The ease and humor that he displayed in his I-do-not-choose-to-run press conference should quiet the put-downs.’
      • ‘Whether it requires her to be casual, peppy or sensual, Jesse walks the ramp with ease and evident pleasure.’
      • ‘In fact, I told him that you and Regis are two of the people I admire in our business, because of the ease with which you are able to interact with all of your guests.’
      • ‘As he grew smaller down the street, I realized that behind the skater's ease and freedom was a huge amount of control.’
      • ‘The nearest he got to a criminal act was the day he forgot his house keys and broke into his own home using a credit card with nonchalant ease.’
      • ‘You can't spend much time with him without being awed by both his ease in the natural world and his willpower.’
      • ‘"Come on in, good looking, " he said with practiced ease.’
      • ‘She surmounted the role's many difficulties with ease and grace and imbued the Czech language with particular bite.’
      • ‘Hass is relentless in her challenge to authority, but her real uniqueness lies in her ability to literally cross from one side to the next with an uncanny ease.’
      • ‘Enthusiasm filled the place as students fired a volley of questions, which the seasoned star answered with poise and complete ease.’
      • ‘She is a consummate stage personality, interacting with the other musicians and the crowd with ease and aplomb.’
      • ‘Her face portrayed a picture of ease and peace, of comfort and contentment.’
      naturalness, casualness, informality, unceremoniousness, lack of reserve, lack of constraint, relaxedness, amiability, affability
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    2. 1.2 Freedom from worries or problems, especially about one's material situation.
      ‘a life of wealth and ease’
      • ‘He has caught a glimpse of a new, golden world of wealth and ease, at the center of which stands a lovely and aristocratic woman.’
      • ‘They've joked with soldiers in the darkest hours of human conflict, just as they've celebrated with them in the times of ease and joy.’
      • ‘As conceived here, his life was a simple one of ease, pleasure, and boundless free time.’
      • ‘Besides, she says, she thought the beauty of a country home lay in its casual, prop-your-feet-up ease.’
      • ‘She was by then in her late thirties and had lived a life of great wealth and ease.’
      • ‘If he bets on atheism, however, he will have a life of ease and pleasure - a daily ration of brownies and milk.’
      • ‘Our material ease and the freedoms it has spawned are dangerous illusions, and now comes the reckoning.’
      • ‘It is relentlessly positive and constantly whispering the mantra of ease and happiness through wealth and the purchase of this or that brand name product.’
      • ‘I was a child of the suburbs, I felt cheated and robbed of my birthright of ease and pleasure.’
      • ‘This is bad news for the magazine, which, despite its lock on the market and air of wealth and ease, is hardly a cash cow.’
      • ‘Their child, they agreed, would lead a life of ease and happiness.’
      peace, peacefulness, calmness, tranquillity, composure, serenity, repose, restfulness, quiet, contentment, security, comfort
      affluence, wealth, prosperity, prosperousness, luxury, opulence, plenty, sufficiency
      View synonyms

verb

  • 1with object Make (something unpleasant, painful, or intense) less serious or severe.

    ‘a huge road-building program to ease congestion’
    • ‘He said network congestion would be eased in Windhoek with the opening of additional base stations.’
    • ‘Pressure on Sligo's ever increasing housing list could be eased if more derelict houses were repaired, refurbished and re-allocated.’
    • ‘The car park will also hopefully ease traffic congestion and parking difficulties.’
    • ‘Lemongrass and Ginger are both excellent for muscular aches and pains, and together with Geranium, they help ease digestive difficulties.’
    • ‘The following tips can help ease financial difficulties.’
    • ‘Yet for years, European leaders have been pushing for easing or eliminating those very sanctions.’
    • ‘He vehemently denies that season-ticket sales are down, and hopes that their financial predicament can be eased by a run in Europe.’
    • ‘The new buildings will form the first phase of plans to extend the school and will enable St Margaret's to offer two classes in the reception intake, easing the school's long waiting lists.’
    • ‘It might cost the state more in the short term, but it would have long-term benefits by easing one of the biggest bottlenecks in the €12 billion-a-year medical service.’
    • ‘Railtrack plans to replace about 25 miles of track and more than 50 sets of points, removing or easing a further 100 more speed restrictions.’
    • ‘The stronger rupiah during the first quarter eases the company's foreign debt burden of nearly $1 billion.’
    • ‘The situation could be considerably eased by the provision of key staff as laid out in the Service Plan.’
    • ‘The U.S. boom has softened a bit lately, easing some of the pressure on central bankers in both countries to hurry up and raise rates.’
    • ‘Plans to ease parking problems which residents say have been making their lives a misery have been delayed.’
    • ‘In many cases early disclosure facilitates settlement and eases the burden of expensive litigation.’
    • ‘Train delays and cancellations may be eased by the development of a wireless-based network that helps railway companies use their rolling stock more efficiently.’
    • ‘Gambling restrictions have been eased recently, which makes it easier to open casinos.’
    • ‘The process will test his ability to make good on his promises to use rail to ease Westside traffic congestion.’
    • ‘We worked with the Defense Department to build more facilities to ease the overcrowding there.’
    • ‘On the other hand, some suggested the result may help ease tensions in strained cross-strait relations.’
    relieve, alleviate, mitigate, assuage, allay, soothe, soften, palliate, ameliorate, mollify, moderate, tone down, blunt, dull, deaden, numb, take the edge off
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    1. 1.1no object Become less serious or severe.
      ‘the pain doesn't usually ease off for several hours’
      • ‘The rain began in the early hours and seemed to be easing as late evening approached but the real deluge came as darkness came on.’
      • ‘The £47.9 million route opened for traffic last week and within hours congestion in the town centre was beginning to ease.’
      • ‘Everyone at the table laughed, the tension easing.’
      • ‘This so surprised him that his trembling eased and his breath began to return.’
      • ‘There was no sign this weekend that tensions were easing.’
      • ‘The wind began to ease as the evening set in and I cast out the catfish rigs with a little, though not too much, hope.’
      • ‘It will need care, and you'll have to accept certain limitations, but otherwise do your best to live around the pain until it eases.’
      • ‘Then the sadness and shame began to ease, and I realised that they were not productive feelings.’
      • ‘The pain eased, settling into a nagging ache, low down.’
      • ‘We can't avoid the pain of change and loss, but it eases the more willingly we're able to embrace change.’
      • ‘So there was some friction there, but as time passed, they then started reporting that these frictions had begun to ease and the people united.’
      • ‘The hurt will ease, the pain will be less and there will be happier days ahead.’
      • ‘‘When I get tense, I see the funny side and begin to laugh and then the tension eases,’ he explains.’
      • ‘He acknowledged, however, that further support may be necessary if the economy fails to pick up when geopolitical tensions had eased.’
      • ‘The pain was still easing, or he was getting used to it - he wasn't sure.’
      • ‘A period of austerity, which began to ease in the 1950s, followed World War II.’
      • ‘The housing crunch may be easing little by little, but that is no excuse for busting people who want to keep the issue of affordable shelter alive.’
      • ‘Water levels began to fall by yesterday morning, however, as the heavy downpour gradually eased.’
      • ‘Tensions eased with each passing moment and the three friends began joking with each other.’
      • ‘As he awoke, the wind began to ease and a chink of sun showed.’
      abate, subside, die down, die away, die out, drop off, let up, slacken off, diminish, quieten, lessen, grow less, tail off, peter out, taper off, wane, ebb, relent, weaken, become weaker, come to an end
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2ease upno object Relax one's efforts; do something with more moderation.
      ‘I'd ease up on the hard stuff if I were you’
      • ‘The government has been very attentive to the needs of the public sector since coming to office in 1997 and, with Benchmarking II coming down the line, shows no sign of easing off.’
      • ‘If road deaths decrease you don't ease up on road safety.’
      • ‘The government is showing signs of easing up on building nuclear weapons and controlling foreign aid.’
      • ‘However, rather than easing off as he approaches official retirement age, the Scot remains as committed and feisty as ever, with thoughts of stepping down a long way off.’
      • ‘You're in taper mode, easing off on intensity and volume or setting off on your trip.’
      • ‘It's attitude that has propelled the band into super-stardom and there's no sign of them easing up on it.’
      • ‘Now approaching her 80th birthday, she shows no sign of easing up - and it's Peggy who can be relied upon to open the hospice's charity shop each morning.’
      • ‘The bully pulpit can be grabbed if he combines cutting tax rates with lowering interest rates and easing up on Fed monetary policy.’
      • ‘Wanderers are ready to end their interest unless the Newcastle winger eases up on his demands for a three-year contract.’
      • ‘Over 60 years of work are documented here, and Davie shows no sign of easing off.’
      • ‘He tells jokes pretty well, though he could do with easing up on the old self-satisfied smirk after the punchline.’
      • ‘No one could blame Wicklow for easing off in the last ten minutes and while Roscommon scored 1-2 in that time they never looked like closing the gap.’
      • ‘In a sense, easing up on training can improve performance.’
      • ‘At an age, 39 years, when most other athletes are easing up and participating at veterans' level, Anne is probably running better that she ever has in her life.’
      • ‘Back today after a 21-day ban for easing up prematurely and being beaten on a clear leader at Pontefract, he has a good chance at Redcar.’
      • ‘The Moroccan went clear in the final 30 metres and even had the luxury of easing up before raising two fingers, one for each of his Athens triumphs, as he crossed.’
      • ‘One wonders if they shouldn't ease up, calm down, breathe deep, get more securely grounded.’
      • ‘There was considerable pressure from the United States as well for him to ease up and to offer humanitarian relief.’
      • ‘Just because one tyrant is being edged closer to retirement doesn't mean that other members of the club are easing up on their coercion.’
      • ‘With all this, it seems unlikely that he would care to appease his critics by easing up on the self-promotion.’
    3. 1.3 Make (something) happen more easily; facilitate.
      ‘Tokyo's dominance of government was deemed to ease efficient contact-making’
      • ‘Behind the slick new steel and glass facades, what can you expect in the way of facilities to ease the MBA learning experience?’
      • ‘Such simplified set-up could ease the dissemination of a simple, indirect challenge test for BHR in young children.’
      • ‘Motivations were nonetheless always framed by political and economic climates, and the availability of familial and governmental assistance in easing the journey.’
      • ‘Some were installed for mountaineers, to ease the approaches to climbs, and some to facilitate the passage of troops during the First World War.’
      • ‘The same materials are expected to be used in the larger extension, which will have a conveyor link to the existing facility to ease the transfer of airfreight.’
      • ‘He urged Government to prioritise the provision of facilities that would ease the education and employment access of the blind.’
      • ‘I guess it's some kind of human body defense mechanism, keeping my eye closed to reduce the pain and ease the ‘healing process’.’
      • ‘The rounding facility was probably included to ease transition to the regulations when they first came into force.’
      • ‘During most of this period, we didn't enjoy the computer facilities now available to ease the job of an investor.’
      • ‘Cariss is hoping that Nelson's success will encourage a potential sponsor to step forward and ease his transition into the pro game.’
      • ‘Incorporating learning activities into an everyday routine can help ease the transition to kindergarten.’
      facilitate, make easy, make easier, expedite, speed up, assist, help, aid, advance, further, forward, smooth the way for, clear the way for, simplify
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    4. 1.4no object (of share prices, interest rates, etc.) decrease in value or amount.
      ‘these shares should be bought and tucked away for when interest rates ease’
      ‘a slight easing of inflation’
      • ‘Crude oil and refined product prices have eased sufficiently for us to be able to pass it on at the pump.’
      • ‘Relying on the appreciating euro exchange rate to ease upward pressure on prices is no excuse for real initiatives.’
      • ‘But as new coal mines are developed, prices will ease somewhat.’
      • ‘Oil prices are easing in the face of rising inventories.’
      • ‘In later trading the rate eased to $1.2017 as markets took a harder look at the realities facing the US.’
      • ‘After huge spikes in late summer, gas prices have eased just a bit.’
      • ‘The survey highlighted the midlands as a potential growth area for retailers, but it did expect this growth rate to ease over the next six months.’
      • ‘Australia is slowing and world commodity prices should ease as world growth slows.’
      • ‘Inflation is easing faster than expected, while economic performances abroad and at home are uncertain.’
      • ‘They feel that though interest rates should ease, banks may not be in a position to slash their lending rates.’
      • ‘The report came amid improving macroeconomic indicators as inflation has eased, interest rates are down and the rupiah has strengthened.’
      • ‘This goes with other signs that house price inflation is easing and that the housing market has passed the peak of the boom.’
      • ‘However, after hitting new record highs, prices eased yesterday, raising hopes that they might start to ease back to more moderate levels.’
      • ‘However, the rate of inflation eased to a five-month low and was well below the average for 2005 so far.’
      • ‘But now that meat prices are easing, growth figures to be much tougher.’
      • ‘Plus, gas prices should ease as seasonal demand slows.’
      • ‘While oil prices have eased in the past two weeks in dollar terms the cost of oil in euros has gone above the €40 mark for the first time.’
      • ‘‘Inflation will ease over the year, but we are not expecting widespread house price falls,’ he said.’
      • ‘House price inflation needs to ease to a rate of 6 per cent if a disorderly correction is to be avoided.’
      • ‘The company said that as interest rates start to rise prices will ease.’
      decrease, lessen, diminish, reduce, lower, moderate, soothe, relieve, dampen, calm, tone down, alleviate, mitigate, mollify, allay, assuage, palliate, temper, appease, attenuate
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5ease something away/down/offNautical Slacken a rope or sail.
      • ‘The ship ran aground for three minutes before it was eased off.’
  • 2no object, with adverbial of direction Move carefully, gradually, or gently.

    ‘I eased down the slope with care’
    ‘the boat eased away from the harbor’
    with object ‘the pilot eased the throttle back’
    • ‘After a moment or two, he eased himself up and looked over the edge.’
    • ‘She began easing over to the payphone, trying to listen in on his conversation.’
    • ‘Slipping his feet over one end, he gingerly eased himself down.’
    • ‘The woman eased herself into the chair opposite him.’
    • ‘Carefully, she eased over across the floor to the door, then moving as fast as she could, she swung it open.’
    • ‘He eased the stick forward and aimed for the river.’
    • ‘Lorries advertising this and that Irish product or activity were slowly easing themselves into their places, causing disruption to the traffic.’
    • ‘Confused, I eased myself from the water and walked round the pool edge, flabby and dripping.’
    • ‘Opening the door she eased carefully into the passenger seat with her eyes never leaving him.’
    • ‘At about five hundred yards he eased back on the throttle, the bows slowly lowered.’
    • ‘Dustin eased himself over the edge, searching for a foothold, which he soon found.’
    • ‘She staggered to the door and eased it open, blinking irritably.’
    • ‘Carefully, she moved a hand forward and eased back the white sheets.’
    • ‘Murmuring soft words of comfort and nonsense, she eased herself carefully along the wall, bringing her hand along the side of the horse.’
    • ‘She leaned forward to ease her wrist out of his grip.’
    • ‘Balancing the car on the throttle and I eased myself around for a couple of laps to familiarise myself with the setup.’
    • ‘His voice was anxious as he eased closer to her and tightened his hold on her hand.’
    • ‘The new Greek island ferry - retired from the Baltic only last year - eases her stern against the pier.’
    • ‘‘Sure do,’ he replied, easing himself up from his chair, his movements stiff.’
    • ‘He slowly eases his waist forward to demonstrate.’
    • ‘She winced as she eased herself into the hot water.’
    • ‘On his first competitive outing in the 2002 Ferrari, he lacked that crucial edge to ease ahead of Montoya, finishing one-tenth off pole.’
    move slowly, inch, edge, move, manoeuvre, steer, slip, squeeze, slide
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    1. 2.1ease someone outwith object Gradually exclude someone from a post or place, especially by devious or subtle maneuvers.
      ‘after the scandal he was eased out of his job’
      • ‘But if Wilson is happy to continue in Belfast, RBS would have no good reason to ease him out.’
      • ‘The Army, contrary to perception, tends to ease them out of frontline duty.’
      • ‘I have heard it said that you were eased out of Washington, perhaps at British suggestion, because your independence made you unmanageable.’
      • ‘He's rumoured to be injured, but talk suggests that his ‘injury’ is being talked up so as to ease him out without humiliating him.’
      • ‘They talk as if the anchorman was eased out of his job merely for some error of fact such as any journalist is statistically certain to make every now and then.’
      • ‘The big question now is whether he was eased out early over this deal and whether the board will ever investigate how this happen.’
      • ‘It looks more and more as if he was eased out not so much because of what he did, but because certain elements in the Labour Party wanted rid of him.’
      • ‘But, as I say, the plan is to ease them out of that.’
      • ‘‘Two weeks ago, I said, ‘Put together a plan to ease her out; make arrangements.’’
      • ‘Since you can't fire the current manager, ease him out by finding a cushy, better paying sinecure elsewhere.’
      • ‘Adds another BCC insider: ‘Nobody's easing Wayne out yet.’’
      • ‘Unfortunately though, I think it is unlikely that he will be eased out soon, unless of course he calls it a day after his 100th test.’
      • ‘So, was this just a way of easing me out early, without admitting it?’
      • ‘When Cedric was eased out, Rajinder Singh, basking on the victory as junior coach, secured the plum post of the chief coach for the senior team.’
      • ‘The book is valuable for its recounting of the way in which Deng saved his reform program and slowly eased the older leadership generations out of power.’
      • ‘It's high time he was eased out.’
      • ‘It is ironic that after he guided the national team to a rare LG Cup triumph in 2002, there is an effort now to ease him out.’
      • ‘Although the company later eased him out - due to his conflicting newspaper interests - his new schedule largely survived and prospered.’
      • ‘At the time of the Agreement, they were actually afraid that they would be eased out,’ Murphy said.’
      • ‘I managed to ease him out by insisting on demonstrations that had to be practised in rehearsals and soon we dropped the show.’

Phrases

  • at (one's) ease

    • 1Free from worry, awkwardness, or problems; relaxed.

      ‘she was never quite at ease with Phil’
      • ‘The master of ceremonies will welcome each of the contestants in turn, set them at their ease, and introduced the musical item that each will render.’
      • ‘He had a great way with people, and had the remarkable ability to put customers at their ease.’
      • ‘Now vulnerable people can feel more at ease knowing that recruits are signing up to stop doorstep con-artists.’
      • ‘The only way to set your mind at ease before purchasing a supplement is to check out the facts first.’
      • ‘The main courses arrived swiftly, with the kind of faultlessly friendly, attentive yet unobtrusive service that always puts you at your ease in a restaurant.’
      • ‘He was mild-mannered and polite, attempting light humour to put me at my ease.’
      • ‘With Will it's so easy not to feel intimidated because he puts you at ease.’
      • ‘The door slammed shut behind him and I jumped, but Mother seemed perfectly at ease.’
      • ‘I could tell by our team's attitude that they seemed to be totally at ease when they took the field.’
      • ‘It's informal and friendly and sets me at my ease immediately.’
      relaxed, calm, serene, tranquil, unworried, contented, content, happy
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1In a relaxed attitude with the feet apart and the hands behind the back (often as a command)
        ‘all right, stand at ease!’
        • ‘To my surprise, he was standing at ease, talking to an old lady who was seated on one of the chairs in the alcove.’
        • ‘I halted in front of the sentry box, turned to the front and stood at ease.’
        • ‘Both girls ceased their jitters and tried to stand at ease, gnawing away at their lips.’
        • ‘The soldiers at Micklegate Bar are not marching but are stood at ease, and may well have been from the Army Cadet Corps.’
        • ‘He joined Neal, Arlyn and Lori, standing at ease on the other side of the stage.’
  • ease someone's mind

    • Alleviate someone's anxiety.

      • ‘Glancing around the dinner, I noticed that it was fairly empty, which somehow eased my mind.’
      • ‘Thank you so much for writing, you have eased my mind considerably on the topic of my brother.’
      • ‘I'm glad you shared this with me, and it has eased my mind to a degree.’
      • ‘‘Well someone had to be on this island to plant the treasure,’ Dara explained, easing his mind.’
      • ‘I hope that some of these wedding vow samples have eased your mind somewhat and maybe even given you a few ideas to use for your own vows.’
      • ‘The rattling noise began to disappear, and that eased his mind greatly, knowing that he was only a little way away from turning into the next street he needed.’
      • ‘This will help your weight loss by easing your mind and tricking your body's metabolism and avoid plateauing.’
      • ‘It was a pleasure meeting you, sir: I hope I have eased your mind about Lord Robert.’
      • ‘Listening to a toad croak, concentrating on it, eased his mind.’
      • ‘I went to a church service in the village last night and that eased my mind.’
      calm, quieten, pacify, soothe, comfort, bring comfort to, give solace to, solace, console
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French aise, based on Latin adjacens ‘lying close by’, present participle of adjacere. The verb is originally from Old French aisier, from the phrase a aise ‘at ease’; in later use from the noun.

Pronunciation

ease

/iz//ēz/