One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Early 17th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin mollient-, molliēns, present participle of mollīre to soften, specifically (in medical use) to soften or relax (the body) from mollis soft; compare -ent. With use as noun, compare earlier mollificative, mollitive, mollifying, mollification, mollifier. With use as adjective, compare earlier mollificative, mollifying, mollitive.
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