A Word A Day : Emollient

Friday, 4th April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective & Noun )

Pronunciation : i-mólly-ent


1. softening or soothing, especially to the skin

2. trying to avoid anger and argument by using a calming manner ( formal )

3. a substance that softens or soothes something, especially the skin

4. an agent that assuages or mollifies

5. Toiletry consisting of any of various substances in the form of a thick liquid that have a soothing and moisturizing effect when applied to the skin


Mid-17th century - Latin emollient - present participle of emollire - soften - mollis - soft


balsamic, demulcent, healing, lenitive, palliative, relieving, remedial, softening, balm, cream, lenitive, liniment, moisturizer, oil, ointment, salve, soothing agent, unguent


abrasive, irritant, aggravating, irritating

Contextual Examples:

• The emollient approach of the diplomatic mediator was acclaimed by all newspaper.

• They used to be rather drying because of the alcohol, but manufacturers have since added an emollient to reduce that effect, leading to improved skin integrity for those who wash often.

• The emolument of her new job allowed her to buy the expensive emollient.

Related Words:

emollience : Noun

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