adj. mel·low·er, mel·low·est
a. Soft, sweet, juicy, and full-flavored because of ripeness: a mellow fruit.
b. Suggesting softness or sweetness: "The mellow air brought in the feel of imminent autumn" (Thomas Hardy).
a. Flavorful and mild or smooth, as from being properly matured: a mellow wine.
b. Soft and pleasant; not harsh: a mellow voice; mellow light.
3. Gentle and understanding, especially from being mature or experienced: "She had seen him as a survival of a leisurely and tolerant age, a mellow man" (Elisabeth Ogilvie).
4. Relaxed and unhurried; easygoing: a mellow friend; a mellow conversation.
5. Slang Slightly and pleasantly intoxicated.
6. Moist, rich, soft, and loamy. Used of soil.
tr. & intr.v. mel·lowed, mel·low·ing, mel·lowsPhrasal Verb:
To make or become mellow.
mellow out Slang
To become genial and pleasant; relax: "The cowboy mellowed out when they read him a sweet letter from his wife" (Bobbie Ann Mason).
[Middle English melwe, perhaps from melowe, oblique case of mele, ground grain, meal; see MEAL1.]
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.