- To relent is to become less severe, to soften in attitude or temper, or to give up on an intense position.
- An example of relent is when a very hard rain starts to let up a bit.
- An example of relent is when a person who was sticking firmly to a harsh position eventually gives in.
- to soften in temper, resolution, etc.; become less severe, stern, or stubborn
- Obsolete to melt
Origin of relentMiddle English relenten, to melt, ultimately ; from Classical Latin ; from re-, again + lentus, flexible, pliant, slow: see lithe
Obsolete to cause to relent
intransitive verbre·lent·ed, re·lent·ing, re·lents
- To become more lenient, compassionate, or forgiving. See Synonyms at yield.
- To become less severe or intense; slacken: The storm finally relented.
Origin of relentMiddle English relenten, to melt, from Anglo-Norman relenter, from relent, damp : Latin re-, re- + Latin lentus, sticky, slow.
(third-person singular simple present relents, present participle relenting, simple past and past participle relented)
- To become less severe or intense; to become less hard, harsh, or cruel; to soften in temper; to become more mild and tender; to feel compassion.
- He relented of his plan to murder his opponent, and decided just to teach him a lesson instead.
- I did, I suppose, hope that she might finally relent a little and make some conciliatory response or other. (from "The Remains of the Day" by Kazuo Ishiguro)
- To slacken; to abate.
- We waited for the storm to relent before we ventured outside.
- He will not relent in his effort to reclaim his victory.
- (dated) To become less rigid or hard; to soften; to yield; to dissolve; to melt; to deliquesce.