"softening, making soft or supple," 1640s, from French émollient (16c.), from Latin emollientem (nominative emolliens), present participle of emollire "to make soft, soften," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + mollire "soften," from mollis "soft" (from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft"). The noun, "a therapeutic agent or process which softens and relaxes living tissues," is recorded from 1650s.
type of rum-based Cuban cocktail, by 1946, from Cuban Spanish, a diminutive of mojo, a word for certain sauces and marinades; Ayto ("Diner's Dictionary") considers it to be "probably a reapplication of the Spanish adjective mojo 'wet,'" from mojar "to moisten, make wet," from Vulgar Latin *molliare"to soften by soaking," from Latin mollire "to soften" (see emollient).
I don't know who originated this one, but every bar in the West Indies serves it, practically every rum recipe booklet gives the formula for it, so my little collection of rum drinks would hardly be complete without it. Such popularity must be deserved, and it is. It's a swell drink! ["Trader Vic's Book of Food and Drink," 1946]
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "soft," with derivatives referring to soft or softened materials.
It forms all or part of: amblyopia; bland; blandish; blenny; emollient; enamel; malacia; malaxation; malt; melt; mild; Mildred; milt; moil; mollify; Mollusca; mollusk; mulch; mullein; mutton; schmaltz; smelt (v.); smelt (n.).
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit mrdh "to neglect," also "to be moist;" Greek malakos "soft," malthon "weakling;" Latin mollire "soften," mollis "soft;" Old Irish meldach "tender."
c. 1400, "a blend of mercury with another metal; soft mass formed by chemical manipulation," from Old French amalgame or directly from Medieval Latin amalgama, "alloy of mercury (especially with gold or silver)," c. 1300, an alchemists' word, probably from Arabic al-malgham "an emollient poultice or unguent for sores (especially warm)" [Francis Johnson, "A Dictionary of Persian, Arabic, and English"], which is itself perhaps from Greek malagma "softening substance," from malassein "to soften," from malakos "soft" (from PIE *meldh-, from root *mel- (1) "soft"). The figurative meaning "compound of different things" is from 1790.