Definition of mellow in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmɛləʊ/


1(Especially of a sound, flavour, or colour) pleasantly smooth or soft; free from harshness: she was hypnotized by the mellow tone of his voice slow cooking gives the dish a sweet, mellow flavour
More example sentences
  • As she recalled, his voice was educated and had a pleasant, mellow tone.
  • With its mellow purples, blues, dazzling yellows and reds set in flawless gold the collection is all set to lure you into buying it.
  • The mellow flavour of spring onions make them just as adaptable as regular yellow or white onions, but without the tears.
dulcet, sweet-sounding, tuneful, euphonious, lyric, melodious, mellifluous;
fruity, smooth, warm, full, rich, well rounded
rare mellifluent
1.1(Of wine) well-matured and smooth: a mellow, richly flavoured Shiraz
More example sentences
  • This is a grape variety which has excellent resistance to disease and rot, but which makes Cabernet Sauvignon look rather mellow.
  • I'm making do with a large glass of rather mellow Cabernet Sauvignon and some very yummy soup my flatmate has made out of everything in our fridge.
  • He chose a Barbaresco wine 1995 (Italian red, naturally), a wonderfully mellow and aromatic wine which, if you can afford it, is excellent.
seasoned, conditioned, mature, aged, old;
rich in texture, warm
1.2 archaic (Of fruit) ripe, sweet, and juicy: one dish of mellow apples
More example sentences
  • The cliched image of autumn is that it is a fine season of mellow fruits, golden leaves and cool, bracing sunny days, but this has little bearing on the lives of anyone who lives in a town or city.
  • Peaches sold in here are generally large, juicy, sweet, mellow, scrumptious, delicious, you get the idea.
  • Moist and translucent, it tastes like a mellow orange with a hint of lemon.
ripe, mature, soft, lush, juicy, tender, luscious, sweet, full-flavoured, flavoursome
2(Of a person’s character) tempered by maturity or experience: a more mellow personality
More example sentences
  • The big surprise, of course, was that guy from Japan: Ichiro Suzuki, who captured the fans of two nations with his skillful play and mellow personality.
  • And I had seen Jode's mellow personality melt into passion at simply a glance from Cif.
  • His reflexes seemed a shade slower than his days in Toronto, and his mellow personality differed from Hasek's intense persona.
easy-going, tolerant, amicable, amiable, warm-hearted, warm, sympathetic, good-natured, affable, gracious, gentle, pleasant, kindly, kind-hearted
2.1Relaxed and good-humoured: Jean-Claude was feeling mellow
More example sentences
  • About half the time, the songs are laid-back - mellow even - and meander casually along with long, rich, drawn-out horn solos and harmonies.
  • I had to learn English to follow the lyrics and had to adapt the relaxed, mellow jazz moves to my ballet technique.
  • For a break from his rigorous five-time weekly training routine, he indulges in mellow dancing with the Silver Shadow Dancers.
3 informal Relaxed and cheerful through being slightly drunk: everybody got very mellow and slept well
More example sentences
  • When you drink, do you get more mellow or obnoxious?
  • Anyhow, we quickly mellowed out with a bottle of the lowest teen-priced wine on a deep and scuffed settee and talked about holidays and every kind of rubbish.
genial, jovial, jolly, cheerful, happy, merry
tipsy, slightly drunk, full of well-being
informal happy, merry
British informal tiddly, squiffy
4(Of earth) rich and loamy: to most farmers, soil has good tilth when it is mellow and granular and crumbles easily in the hand
More example sentences
  • Well enriched, mellow loam, deeply dug or plowed, is best suited to the requirements of Carrots.
  • In making a Flower Bed, see that the ground is well drained; that the subsoil is deep; that the land is in a mellow and friable condition, and that it is rich.


1Make or become mellow: [with object]: even a warm sun could not mellow the North Sea breeze [no object]: fuller-flavoured whiskies mellow with wood maturation
More example sentences
  • Perhaps it would be a good thing that I've matured and mellowed some, I don't know.
  • Later as the evening mellows, she talks some more of her work and family.
  • But during the course of their journey the tension between the two mellows as they begin to learn something about each other's background and hopes for the future.
relax, calm, settle, mature, improve;
soften, sweeten
condition, season, age, improve
1.1 [no object] (mellow out) informal Relax and enjoy oneself: I need to mellow out, I need to calm down
More example sentences
  • The rest of the time I've been just mellowing out and enjoying life.
  • I've been spending the past week ‘coming down’ from the holiday, just mellowing out and relaxing with Mel.
  • We were just talking about how much he's mellowed out in the last year or two.



Example sentences
  • Old or new, many of the songs had a slightly different colour to them due to the presence of Justin Haynes on guitar, adding touches that were, by turns, mellowly acoustic or screamingly electric.
  • I got home, got sick, then spent the evening mellowly lying about with the demon beast.
  • Burns says mellowly: ‘It's good that this [event] is only taking two years off my life.’


Pronunciation: /ˈmɛləʊnəs/
Example sentences
  • Time may have ground off the dazzling and harsh part of his wisdom, but it has also suffused it with mellowness and modesty.
  • Old age is supposed to bring with it a certain mellowness of perspective.
  • I am recognising the joys she is experiencing as she discovers life in the city's streets, choice in the street markets, a mellowness in the people and their way of communicating.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'ripe, sweet, and juicy'): perhaps from attributive use of Old English melu, melw- (see meal2). The verb dates from the late 16th century.

Words that rhyme with mellow

Bargello, bellow, bordello, cello, Donatello, fellow, jello, martello, morello, niello, Novello, Pirandello, Portobello, Punchinello, Uccello, violoncello, yellow

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mel¦low

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.