Definition of relent in English:



  • 1 Abandon or mitigate a harsh intention or cruel treatment.

    ‘she was going to refuse his request, but relented’
    • ‘Time often dilutes anger and passion and Hollywood began to relent in its attitude against Kazan.’
    • ‘The seller's emotion stays high, until the buyer finally relents.’
    • ‘Finally Christine relented and allowed Debbie to at least see if a kidney match was on - it was, but things were far from done and dusted.’
    • ‘Finally relenting to Mrs Perez's request, she said, ‘Alright, I'll do it now.’’
    • ‘She saw the look in Adonea's eye soften, and she finally relented.’
    • ‘When the children cry for food, however, he finally relents.’
    • ‘But despite the best efforts of his closest aides, it was not until two hours later that the Pope finally relented, the report said.’
    • ‘He finally relented to the truth with a foolish grin.’
    • ‘Finally relenting to the tempting rays of sun, I undressed and sat down on the towel that I had already spread out.’
    • ‘One driver stubbornly resists letting his girlfriend into his cancer-stricken life but finally relents and lets her do the driving.’
    • ‘Finally she relented and on March 14, 1998, she became party president.’
    • ‘We explained to the guy how this was going to look, and he finally relented.’
    • ‘Vivian just looked at her and Annalise finally relented.’
    • ‘Her dad studied her for a minute before finally relenting.’
    • ‘Finally, Cathena relents and leave Eric alone with her father.’
    • ‘He came back every day for a week, and I finally relented.’
    • ‘And in the name of a good cause, Ponder, who works at the paper's Colchester office, has finally relented.’
    • ‘Finally, she relents, replacing it within her purse.’
    • ‘As if finally relenting, the thing moved - first only slightly, before turning and walking along the outside of the fire light.’
    • ‘When Rachel's friends drag her drinking on a holiday party sometime in her third year she finally relents and starts drinking.’
    change one's mind, do a u-turn, back-pedal, back down, give way, give in, capitulate, yield, accede, come round, acquiesce
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    1. 1.1(especially of bad weather) become less severe or intense.
      ‘by evening the rain relented’
      • ‘One man who might catch the eye when the rain relents to allow the game to start is Dwayne Smith.’
      • ‘The rain did not relent, and even seemed to be enhanced at times as its path became more horizontal.’
      • ‘Although the adverse weather had relented for the kick-off, earlier rain had left the Valerie Street pitch on the tacky side.’
      • ‘The atmospheric storm of wind and rain relented in time for the start but Cork ran into another of Waterford's making.’
      • ‘But qualifying did go ahead yesterday as the rain relented to a drizzle though the track was still soaked.’
      • ‘The mists did not relent to the light, they only fell around Nakita and the Neraks, and stayed upon them.’
      • ‘Outside, the sky rumbled, and the falling rain did not relent.’
      ease off, slacken, let up, ease, ease up, relax, abate, drop, fall off, die down, lessen, decrease, diminish, moderate, subside, weaken, tail off
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Late Middle English (in the sense dissolve, melt): based on Latin re- back + lentare to bend (from lentus flexible).