Share this entry

mollify Syllabification: mol·li·fy
Pronunciation: /ˈmäləˌfī/

Definition of mollify in English:

verb (mollifies, mollifying, mollified)

[with object]
1Appease the anger or anxiety of (someone): nature reserves were set up around the power stations to mollify local conservationists
More example sentences
  • My feeling is that he will leave, though good results could yet mollify him.
  • The spider plants I placed all round the house after reading about the NASA research on toxin absorption do not seem to have mollified her.
  • I've had nephews break things, and the parents were very apologetic and took full responsibility (and that's all it took, an apology, to mollify us).
1.1 rare Reduce the severity of (something); soften.
Example sentences
  • The OED records uses of supple as a transitive verb, meaning ‘to soften or mollify a wound,’ from 1526 to 1688.
  • The tranquil uses of red and orange brickwork, with their auburn hedges, mollify the harshness of the sky above Pissarro's characteristically low horizon.
  • Domestic space functions in a similar fashion in East and West - it is a concession granted to the worker/consumer to mollify exploitation.
informal blunt


Late Middle English (also in the sense 'make soft or supple'): from French mollifier or Latin mollificare, from mollis 'soft'.

  • mollusc from late 18th century:

    Most molluscs have hard shells, but they need these because they are so soft underneath, which gives them their name, from Latin mollis ‘soft’. This also lies behind mollify (Late Middle English) originally to make soft, emollient (mid 17th century), and share an Indo-European root with Germanic melt (Old English) and mild (Old English).



Pronunciation: /ˌmäləfəˈkāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • It brings us back to the heightened state of narcissistic injury, which brooks no logic, reason or mollification.
  • Many feminists have argued that this particular crime has long been viewed as a ‘bounty’ of war and a means of ‘troop mollification.’
  • Despite Berlin's prompt denials and attempts at mollification, he has opened up a veritable Pandora's box that cannot be closed again.


Pronunciation: /ˈmäləˌfīr/

Words that rhyme with mollify


Definition of mollify in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkɒnfɪdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...