January 4, 2017 by Stephen Bentley
Solace: Word Wednesday (Improve Your Word Power)
Solace is the word for this Wednesday. I find it interesting to note how many words in the English language start with “sol.” There must be a connection to the sun surely but let’s see.
Merriam-Webster has this to say about solace:
transitive verb so·lace \ˈsä-ləs also ˈsō-\
Popularity: Top 20% of words
: to give comfort to in grief or misfortune : console
a : to make cheerful
b : amuse
: allay, soothe <solace grief>
Examples in a sentence
Solaced by an abundance of whisky, champagne and cigars, he always bounced back, restoring and recreating himself through intensely active immersion in one or another of his varied interests … —Robert Kuttner, New York Times Book Review, 23 Oct. 1988
In this deplorable state, I contrived to do, what I take to have been, three Objective things. I got Mr. Franklin his sherry; I retired to my own room; and I solaced myself with the most composing pipe of tobacco I ever remember to have smoked in my life. —Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone, 1868
… and it was settled that Mr. Jones should be sent for early in the morning if Miss Bennet were not decidedly better. Bingley was quite uncomfortable; his sisters declared that they were miserable. They solaced their wretchedness, however, by duets after supper … —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1813
<counselors did their best to solace the bereaved children>
<I solaced myself with a book while I waited for the bus.>
Definition of solace
: comfort in grief : alleviation of grief or anxiety
: a source of relief or consolation
Examples in a sentence
Think your city’s suffering? Imagine if your favorite team bolted town after 41 seasons, not for some cosmopolitan burg but a dusty outpost where oil derricks qualify as urban skyline. Now imagine turning to your city’s other teams for solace only to find each to be avert-your-eyes abysmal. —Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated, 10 Nov. 2008
It’s important to explain what’s going on, but some parents tell their child too much—about being lonely and frightened, about dates they’re going on. Instead of the parent offering emotional solace to the child, the child is expected to provide it for the adult. —People, 4 Mar. 2002
Poe’s poem is a morbidly sentimental threnody on the same theme: the speaker blames the envious angels for taking his beloved from this world, and finds solace in lying beside her grave. —David Lodge, The Art of Fiction, 1992
Her presence was a great solace for me.
<the kind words brought a little solace to the grieving widow>
Did You Know?
Solace was borrowed into English in the 14th century (via Anglo-French) from Latin solacium, which in turn derives from the Latin verb solari, meaning “to console.” As you may have guessed, “solari” is also the source of the English words “console” and “consolation” (formed by combination with the prefix com-). In addition to the noun function, “solace” can be used as a verb (“he was solaced by the company of his children”). Also related are the nouns “solacer” (“one who solaces”) and “solacement” (“an act of solacing or the condition of being solaced” or “something that solaces”).
Origin and Etymology
Middle English solas, from Anglo-French, from Latin solacium, from solari to console
First Known Use: 14th century
Nothing to do with the sun 🙂
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