Definition of soothe in US English:

soothe

verb

[with object]
  • 1Gently calm (a person or their feelings)

    ‘a shot of brandy might soothe his nerves’
    • ‘The sound of his heartbeat soothed me, calming me down.’
    • ‘Somehow, the music soothed her, and calmed her down.’
    • ‘Jack's voice was calm, it soothed her, making her feel a bit safe.’
    • ‘The lullaby ‘My Darling’ tells the words of a parent soothing a child.’
    • ‘He turned, walked back to her, turned and then walked back to the door again, the quiet rustle of feathers soothing him.’
    • ‘It's not a matter of soothing our feelings, it's about taking his responsibility.’
    • ‘The fish in the aquarium act as a sedative to quiet and soothe the irritation of the long wait.’
    • ‘Big, beautiful showy flowers have a tranquil effect that soothes you at the end of a long day.’
    • ‘In the years since her death in 1991, the Motor City music has comforted me, soothed me, reminded me of the very best elements of my mother and my ten years with her.’
    • ‘To soothe the feeling I curled up into a ball on my bed and tried to sleep.’
    • ‘The tapping sound somewhat soothed Carl, and lulled him into a sleepy state, only then to be reawakened by the icy wind.’
    • ‘Just as her music soothes her baby to sleep, so the presence of each new daughter has had an effect on her writing and performing.’
    • ‘I need something warm to calm my nerves, soothe my agitation.’
    • ‘Sir Irwin held him down gently, soothing him with soft words and petting him.’
    • ‘At any rate, after about an hour calming him down and soothing him, we made some effort to get him back to sleep.’
    • ‘The ritual of it soothed her, calmed her nerves - there was something very protective and safe about it all.’
    • ‘He soothed her with comforting words and finished the task.’
    • ‘After the beating, to soothe Papa's feelings, the children are required to say that it didn't hurt.’
    • ‘She let her mind focus on the sound of the waves and the birds, listening as the music they made soothed her nerves and calmed her mind.’
    • ‘The secretary kept her voice gentle and calm, attempting to soothe the distressed mother.’
    calm, calm down, quiet, pacify, subdue, settle, settle down, comfort, hush, lull, tranquillize, appease, win over, conciliate, make peace with, mollify, propitiate
    relaxing, restful, quiet, calm, calming, reassuring, tranquil, peaceful, placid, reposeful, tranquillizing, soporific
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Reduce pain or discomfort in (a part of the body)
      ‘to soothe the skin try chamomile or thyme’
      • ‘Water, especially in a cleansing bath before a ritual, always soothes my body and soul.’
      • ‘Researchers found that a mother's affection enhances a gene in the baby's brain which soothes the body.’
      • ‘The water immediately soothed my body and my feet found the bottom.’
      • ‘The hot bath soothed her aching body, clearing her head.’
      • ‘If sports injuries occur, emergency treatment should be taken quickly, which can soothe the body and even save one's life.’
      • ‘It took a lot of scrubbing to get the sand out of every nook and cranny, and it was only afterwards that I felt the benefits; my entire body felt relaxed and soothed and my skin as supple as a newborn baby's.’
      • ‘This or any similar over-the-counter preparation can be applied to the blisters to help dry them out and soothe the skin.’
      • ‘A moisturiser's job is to soothe dry skin, reduce fine lines and provide a little additional help at weatherproofing.’
      • ‘After dinner, a nightly outdoor Jacuzzi soothes my tennis-addled body.’
      • ‘With summer here, SPA is especially needed after being out in the sun, to soothe the body and skin.’
      • ‘Facial masks soothe delicate skin, and some basic ingredients like yogurt, honey and applesauce work well.’
      • ‘In China, it is often recommended to apply cooled black tea to the skin to soothe sunburn.’
      • ‘The water was cool and soothing.’
      • ‘For the rest of us, floating is a wonderful way to relax, which quiets the mind and soothes the body.’
      • ‘Green tea, jasmine tea and chai may soothe the body, but try Chinese bamboo wind chimes for that friend who needs some peace of mind.’
      • ‘It beats a top-of-the-line massage for soothing the body and mind.’
      • ‘It calms and soothes the body, moves the spirit and stimulates the mind.’
      • ‘I slid into the hot tub and sighed as the warm water from the jets soothed my aching body.’
      • ‘All race events will start and finish at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, where various artists will soothe tired bodies with cool rhythms.’
      • ‘Grumbling, I went to soothe my body in a nice warm shower.’
      palliative, mild, calmative, alleviating
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Relieve or ease (pain)
      ‘it contains a mild anesthetic to soothe the pain’
      • ‘He touched his cheek with his right hand and soothed the pain.’
      • ‘The poor and the needy who turn up for treatment at the hospital are now confident that the free drug cell working inside this room will soothe their pain.’
      • ‘The echinacea, lavender, and tea tree kill germs and the St. John's wort soothes the pain.’
      • ‘If your gums hurt after brushing, apply ice to soothe the pain.’
      • ‘There might have been withheld from the Saviour those strong religious consolations, those clear views of the justice and goodness of God, which would have blunted his pains and soothed his agonies.’
      • ‘Hot showers, a humidifier, and gargling with warm saltwater aid drainage, shrink inflamed membranes and soothe sore-throat pain.’
      • ‘Now the liquid will merge with the leaves, increasing the effects of the chemicals, and soothing the pain.’
      • ‘Taking to the waters to soothe aches and pains has been a hallmark of the resort for more than a century.’
      • ‘They were to help the wounded by soothing the pain until the true healers arrived.’
      • ‘Derived from peppermint leaves, menthol soothes muscle spasms, relieves pain, eases breathing and inflammatory conditions, such as tendonitis.’
      • ‘Hopefully, the cold water will soothe the ache.’
      • ‘It was as if her voice soothed the pain in my legs.’
      • ‘It's involved in glucosamine synthesis for speedier joint repair, and it soothes aches, pains and inflammation.’
      • ‘Her pale feet quickly became dirty as she stepped though a small cold muddy stream, soothing the pain on her feet's soles from running.’
      • ‘Many Gujarati Hindu women in fact shared it; they showed little inclination to soothe the pain of the victims and survivors.’
      • ‘Is there any cream or lotion I could use to soothe this pain?’
      • ‘She heated a large cauldron for a bath to soothe her aches, and, sighing in contentment, sat down in it for a long soak.’
      • ‘For Isabel, I prepared a mixture of oils which not only soothed the pain and relaxed her, but also stimulated the uterus and brought on labour.’
      • ‘Creams that contain camomile lotion, steroid cream, or anaesthetic can soothe the pain of a bite, as can an antihistamine tablet.’
      • ‘She shook out her hair and sat in the early sunlight awhile, letting its dry warmth soothe her lingering aches.’
      alleviate, ease, relieve, take the edge off, assuage, allay, dull, soften, lessen, moderate, temper, palliate, mitigate, diminish, decrease, blunt, deaden, abate
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English sōthian ‘verify, show to be true’, from sōth ‘true’ (see sooth). In the 16th century the verb passed through the senses ‘corroborate (a statement’), ‘humor (a person) by expressing assent’ and ‘flatter by one's assent’, whence ‘mollify, appease’ (late 17th century).

Pronunciation

soothe

/suð//so͞oT͟H/