late 13c., conforten "to cheer up, console, soothe when in grief or trouble," from Old French conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate), from assimilated form of Latin com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + fortis "strong" (see fort).
The change of -n- to -m- began in English 14c. In Middle English also "give or add strength to" (c. 1300); "encourage, urge, exhort" (c. 1300). Related: Comforted; comforting.
c. 1200, "feeling of relief in affliction or sorrow; solace, consolation" (as still in take comfort); also "source of alleviation or relief;" from Old French confort "consolation, solace; pleasure, enjoyment," from conforter "to solace; to help, strengthen" (see comfort (v.)). An Old English word in the same sense was frofor. Meaning "state of enjoyment resulting from satisfaction of bodily wants and freedom from anxiety" is from mid-13c. Also in Middle English "strength, support, encouragement" (late 14c.). Comforts (as opposed to necessities and luxuries) is from 1650s. Comfort food "food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value but typically is of dubious nutritional value" is by 1987.
mid-14c., "affording mental or spiritual comfort," from Anglo-French and Old French confortable "comforting; pleasant, agreeable," from conforter "to comfort, solace" (see comfort (v.)); also see -able. Meaning "cheering, cheerful" is from c. 1400. Meaning "offering physical comfort" is attested from 1769; that of "in a state of tranquil enjoyment" is from 1770.
c. 1300, discomforten, "to deprive of courage," from Old French desconforter (Modern French déconforter), from des- (see dis-) + conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate); see comfort (v.). Meaning "make uncomfortable or uneasy" is by 1856. Related: Discomforted; discomforting.
mid-14c., "misfortune, adversity;" late 14c., "grief, sorrow; discouragement," from Old French desconfort (12c.), from desconforter (v.), from des- (see dis-) + conforter "to comfort, to solace; to help, strengthen," from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (used in Vulgate); see comfort (v.). Meaning "absence of comfort or pleasure, condition of being uncomfortable" is by 1841.
mid-14c., "one who consoles or supports in distress, anger, etc." (originally in religious use, with capital C-, "the Holy Ghost"), from Anglo-French confortour (Old French conforteor) "helper, adviser, supporter," from Vulgar Latin *confortatorem, agent noun from Late Latin confortare "to strengthen much" (see comfort (v.)). As a kind of knitted, crocheted scarf fit for tying around the neck in cold weather, from 1817; as a kind of quilted coverlet, from 1832.
"to comfort, console," late 15c., from Latin consolatus, past participle of consolari "offer solace, encourage, comfort, cheer," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + solari "to comfort" (see solace (n.)). Obsolete, replaced by console (v.). Related: Consolated; consolating.