Etymology
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solace (n.)

"comfort in grief, consolation," late 13c., from Old French solaz "pleasure, entertainment, enjoyment; solace, comfort," from Latin solacium "a soothing, assuaging; comfort, consolation," from solatus, past participle of solari "to console, soothe," from a suffixed form of PIE root *selh- "to reconcile" (source also of Greek hilaros). Adjectival form solacious is attested 16c.-17c.

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solace (v.)

"comfort, console in grief," late 13c.; also in Middle English "entertain, amuse, please," from Old French solacier "comfort, console" (often with a sexual connotation) and directly from Medieval Latin solatiare "give solace, console" (source also of Spanish solazar, Italian sollazzare), from Latin solacium (see solace (n.)). Related: Solaced; solacing.

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consolatory (adj.)

mid-15c., "tending to give consolation," from Latin consolatorius, from consolator, agent noun from consolari "offer solace, encourage, comfort, cheer," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + solari "to comfort" (see solace (n.)).

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consolate (v.)

"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.

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console (v.)

"alleviate the grief or mental distress of," 1690s, from French consoler "to comfort, console," from Latin consolari "offer solace, encourage, comfort, cheer," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + solari "to comfort" (see solace (n.)). Or perhaps a back-formation from consolation. The Latin word is glossed in Old English by frefran. Related: Consoled; consoling.

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disconsolate (adj.)

late 14c., "causing discomfort, dismal;" c. 1400, "unhappy, dejected, melancholy, wanting consolation or comfort," from Medieval Latin disconsolatus "comfortless," from Latin dis- "away" (see dis-) + 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.)). Related: Disconsolately; disconsolateness.

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consolation (n.)

late 14c., "that which consoles;" c. 1400, "act of consoling, alleviation of misery or distress of mind, mitigation of grief or anxiety," from Old French consolacion "solace, comfort; delight, pleasure" (11c., Modern French consolation), from Latin consolationem (nominative consolatio) "a consoling, comfort," noun of action from past-participle stem 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.)). The non-champion's consolation prize is recorded by 1853.

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comfort (n.)

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.

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comfortable (adj.)

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.

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discomfort (v.)

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.

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