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.’
    • ‘I need something warm to calm my nerves, soothe my agitation.’
    • ‘The lullaby ‘My Darling’ tells the words of a parent soothing a child.’
    • ‘He soothed her with comforting words and finished the task.’
    • ‘At any rate, after about an hour calming him down and soothing him, we made some effort to get him back to sleep.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jack's voice was calm, it soothed her, making her feel a bit safe.’
    • ‘Big, beautiful showy flowers have a tranquil effect that soothes you at the end of a long day.’
    • ‘The fish in the aquarium act as a sedative to quiet and soothe the irritation of the long wait.’
    • ‘The ritual of it soothed her, calmed her nerves - there was something very protective and safe about it all.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's not a matter of soothing our feelings, it's about taking his responsibility.’
    • ‘After the beating, to soothe Papa's feelings, the children are required to say that it didn't hurt.’
    • ‘He turned, walked back to her, turned and then walked back to the door again, the quiet rustle of feathers soothing him.’
    • ‘The secretary kept her voice gentle and calm, attempting to soothe the distressed mother.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sir Irwin held him down gently, soothing him with soft words and petting him.’
    • ‘The tapping sound somewhat soothed Carl, and lulled him into a sleepy state, only then to be reawakened by the icy wind.’
    • ‘To soothe the feeling I curled up into a ball on my bed and tried to sleep.’
    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
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    1. 1.1 Reduce pain or discomfort in (a part of the body)
      ‘to soothe the skin try chamomile or thyme’
      • ‘Grumbling, I went to soothe my body in a nice warm shower.’
      • ‘With summer here, SPA is especially needed after being out in the sun, to soothe the body and skin.’
      • ‘I slid into the hot tub and sighed as the warm water from the jets soothed my aching body.’
      • ‘The water immediately soothed my body and my feet found the bottom.’
      • ‘The hot bath soothed her aching body, clearing her head.’
      • ‘It calms and soothes the body, moves the spirit and stimulates the mind.’
      • ‘This or any similar over-the-counter preparation can be applied to the blisters to help dry them out and soothe the skin.’
      • ‘In China, it is often recommended to apply cooled black tea to the skin to soothe sunburn.’
      • ‘If sports injuries occur, emergency treatment should be taken quickly, which can soothe the body and even save one's life.’
      • ‘The water was cool and soothing.’
      • ‘After dinner, a nightly outdoor Jacuzzi soothes my tennis-addled body.’
      • ‘It beats a top-of-the-line massage for soothing the body and mind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For the rest of us, floating is a wonderful way to relax, which quiets the mind and soothes the body.’
      • ‘Researchers found that a mother's affection enhances a gene in the baby's brain which soothes the body.’
      • ‘All race events will start and finish at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, where various artists will soothe tired bodies with cool rhythms.’
      • ‘Water, especially in a cleansing bath before a ritual, always soothes my body and soul.’
      • ‘A moisturiser's job is to soothe dry skin, reduce fine lines and provide a little additional help at weatherproofing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Facial masks soothe delicate skin, and some basic ingredients like yogurt, honey and applesauce work well.’
      palliative, mild, calmative, alleviating
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    2. 1.2 Relieve or ease (pain)
      ‘it contains a mild anesthetic to soothe the pain’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If your gums hurt after brushing, apply ice to soothe the pain.’
      • ‘Taking to the waters to soothe aches and pains has been a hallmark of the resort for more than a century.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Derived from peppermint leaves, menthol soothes muscle spasms, relieves pain, eases breathing and inflammatory conditions, such as tendonitis.’
      • ‘Creams that contain camomile lotion, steroid cream, or anaesthetic can soothe the pain of a bite, as can an antihistamine tablet.’
      • ‘He touched his cheek with his right hand and soothed the pain.’
      • ‘Hopefully, the cold water will soothe the ache.’
      • ‘She heated a large cauldron for a bath to soothe her aches, and, sighing in contentment, sat down in it for a long soak.’
      • ‘It was as if her voice soothed the pain in my legs.’
      • ‘They were to help the wounded by soothing the pain until the true healers arrived.’
      • ‘Is there any cream or lotion I could use to soothe this pain?’
      • ‘Many Gujarati Hindu women in fact shared it; they showed little inclination to soothe the pain of the victims and survivors.’
      • ‘It's involved in glucosamine synthesis for speedier joint repair, and it soothes aches, pains and inflammation.’
      • ‘Now the liquid will merge with the leaves, increasing the effects of the chemicals, and soothing the pain.’
      • ‘She shook out her hair and sat in the early sunlight awhile, letting its dry warmth soothe her lingering aches.’
      • ‘Hot showers, a humidifier, and gargling with warm saltwater aid drainage, shrink inflamed membranes and soothe sore-throat pain.’
      • ‘The echinacea, lavender, and tea tree kill germs and the St. John's wort soothes 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.’
      alleviate, ease, relieve, take the edge off, assuage, allay, dull, soften, lessen, moderate, temper, palliate, mitigate, diminish, decrease, blunt, deaden, abate
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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/