tr.v. com·fort·ed, com·fort·ing, com·forts
1. To soothe in time of affliction or distress.
2. To ease physically; relieve: comforted the feverish patient with a cool cloth.
a. A condition or feeling of pleasurable physical ease or relief from pain or stress: finally sat in comfort on the soft pillows.
b. A condition of well-being, contentment, and security: an income that allowed them to live in comfort.
a. Solace or consolation in time of sorrow or distress: soothing words of comfort.
b. Help; assistance: gave comfort to the enemy.
a. Something providing ease, convenience, or security: the comforts of modern living.
b. A person or thing that brings consolation or mental ease: a friend who was a comfort to me in my grief.
4. Chiefly Southern & Lower Northern US A quilted bedcover; a comforter.
[Middle English comforten, from Old French conforter, to strengthen, from Late Latin cōnfortāre : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see COM- + Latin fortis, strong; see bhergh-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: comfort, console1, solace
These verbs mean to give hope or help to in time of grief or pain: comforted the distressed child; consoling a recent widow; solaced myself with a hot cup of coffee. See Also Synonyms at amenity.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.