If you assuage an unpleasant feeling, you make it go away. Assuaging your hunger by eating a bag of marshmallows may cause you other unpleasant feelings.

The most common things that we assuage are fears, concerns, guilt, grief, anxiety, and anger. That makes a lot of sense — these are all things we seek relief from. The word comes from Old French assouagier, from the Latin root suavis, "sweet" — think of adding a bit of honey to something unpleasant. A word with a similar meaning is mollify.

Definitions of assuage

v provide physical relief, as from pain

alleviate, palliate, relieve
cause to feel better
comfort, ease
lessen pain or discomfort; alleviate
Type of:
ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
to make better

v satisfy (thirst)

allay, quench, slake
Type of:
fill, fulfil, fulfill, meet, satisfy
fill or meet a want or need

v cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of

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