What does relent mean?

Definitions for relent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word relent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. yield, relent, softenverb

    give in, as to influence or pressure


  1. relentnoun

    Stay; stop; delay.

  2. relentverb

    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.

  3. relentverb

    To slacken; to abate.

  4. relentverb

    To lessen, make less severe or fast.

  5. relentverb

    To become less rigid or hard; to soften; to yield; to dissolve; to melt; to deliquesce.

    The solid block attracted moisture from the air and relented into a thick brown liquour.

  6. Etymology: From re- + lentus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Relentverb

    Apace he shot, and yet he fled apace,
    And oftentimes he would relent his pace,
    That him his foe more fiercely should pursue. Fa. Queen.

    Air hated earth, and water hated fire,
    Till love relented their rebellious ire. Edmund Spenser.

  2. To RELENTverb

    Etymology: ralentir, Fr.

    In some houses, sweetmeats will relent more than in others. Francis Bacon.

    In that soft season, when descending show’rs
    Call forth the greens, and wake the rising flow’rs;
    When opening buds salute the welcome day,
    And earth relenting feels the genial ray. Alexander Pope.

    Crows seem to call upon rain, which is but the comfort they seem to receive in the relenting of the air. Francis Bacon.

    Salt of tartar, brought to fusion, and placed in a cellar, will, in a few minutes, begin to relent, and have its surface softened by the imbibed moisture of the air, wherein if it be left long, it will totally be dissolved. Boyle.

    All nature mourns, the skies relent in show’rs,
    Hush’d are the birds, and clos’d the drooping flow’rs;
    If Delia smile, the flow’rs begin to spring,
    The skies to brighten, and the birds to sing. Alexander Pope.

    I have marked in you a relenting truly, and a slacking of the main career, you had so notably begun, and almost performed. Philip Sidney.

    The workmen let glass cool by degrees in such relentings of fire, as they call their nealing heats, lest it should shiver in pieces by a violent succeeding of air. Kenelm Digby, on Bodies.

    Can you behold
    My tears, and not once relent? William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    I’ll not be made a soft and dull-ey’d fool,
    To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield
    To christian intercessors. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Venice.

    Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn
    From his displeasure. John Milton.

    He sung, and hell consented
    To hear the poet’s pray’r;
    Stern Prosperine relented,
    And gave him back the fair. Alexander Pope.


  1. relent

    To relent is to become less severe, harsh, or strict usually from reasons of humanity. It can also refer to the act of softening in attitude or temper, or giving up on a particular intense stance or position.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Relentverb

    to become less rigid or hard; to yield; to dissolve; to melt; to deliquesce

  2. Relentverb

    to become less severe or intense; to become less hard, harsh, cruel, or the like; to soften in temper; to become more mild and tender; to feel compassion

  3. Relentverb

    to slacken; to abate

  4. Relentverb

    to soften; to dissolve

  5. Relentverb

    to mollify ; to cause to be less harsh or severe

  6. Relentnoun

    stay; stop; delay

  7. Etymology: [F. ralentir, fr. L. pref. re- re- + ad to + lentus pliant, flexible, slow. See Lithe.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Relent

    rē-lent′, v.i. to slacken, to soften or grow less severe: to grow tender: to feel compassion.—adj. soft-hearted: yielding.—n. (Spens.) relenting.—adjs. Relent′ing, inclining to yield: too soft; Relent′less, without relenting: without tenderness or compassion: merciless.—adv. Relent′lessly.—ns. Relent′lessness; Relent′ment, the state of relenting: relaxation: compassion. [O. Fr. ralentir, to retard—L. relentescĕrere-, back, lentus, pliant.]

How to pronounce relent?

How to say relent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of relent in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of relent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of relent in a Sentence

  1. President Barack Obama:

    Our coalition will not relent. Attacks on restaurants and concerts are not the new normal. They can’t beat us on the battlefield so they try to terrorize us into being afraid.

  2. Attorney General Todd Rokita:

    The failure to do so constitutes a crime in Indiana, and Caitlin Bernard behavior could also affect Caitlin Bernard licensure. Additionally, if a HIPAA violation did occur, that may affect next steps as well. I will not relent in the pursuit of the truth.

  3. Rand Paul:

    And if war should prove unavoidable, America will fight with overwhelming force and we will not relent until victory is ours.

  4. President Obama:

    Our coalition will not relent, they can not beat us on battlefield, so they ’ll try to terrorize us into being afraid. … As president, I will not let that happen. I will not give into fear.

  5. Presley Ann/Getty Images -RRB- Penn:

    Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if Vladimir Putin does n’t relent, I believe Vladimir Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind.

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Translations for relent

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"relent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/relent>.

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    (used especially of glances) directed to one side with or as if with doubt or suspicion or envy
    A sesquipedalian
    B jejune
    C askant
    D ostensive

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