Definition of relent in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /rɪˈlɛnt/


[no object]
1Abandon or mitigate a severe or harsh attitude, especially by finally yielding to a request: she was going to refuse his request, but relented
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • One driver stubbornly resists letting his girlfriend into his cancer-stricken life but finally relents and lets her do the driving.
change one's mind, do a U-turn, back-pedal, back down, give way, give in, capitulate, yield, accede, come round, acquiesce;
soften, melt, weaken, unbend, become merciful, become lenient, have/show pity, have/show mercy, give quarter;
agree to something, allow something, concede something, admit something;
British  do an about-turn
1.1Become less severe or intense: the rain relented
More example sentences
  • One man who might catch the eye when the rain relents to allow the game to start is Dwayne Smith.
  • 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.
ease off, slacken, let up, ease, ease up, relax, abate, drop, fall off, die down, lessen, decrease, diminish, moderate, subside, weaken, tail off


Late Middle English (in the sense 'dissolve, melt'): based on Latin re- 'back' + lentare 'to bend' (from lentus 'flexible').

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re¦lent

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.