Words related to *mel-

amblyopia (n.)

1706, "weakening of the eyesight without any apparent defect in the eyes," medical Latin, from Greek amblyopia "dim-sightedness," noun of action from amblys "dulled, blunt" (from a suffixed form of PIE root *mel- (1) "soft") + ōps "eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see") + abstract noun ending -ia. Related: Amblyopic.

bland (adj.)
"mild, smooth, free from irritating qualities, not stimulating," 1660s, from Italian blando "delicate," or Old French bland "flattering, complimentary," both from Latin blandus "smooth-talking, flattering, alluring," perhaps from PIE *mlad-, nasalized variant of *meld-, extended form of root *mel- (1) "soft." Related: Blandly; blandness.
blandish (v.)
mid-14c., "to flatter," from Old French blandiss-, present participle stem of blandir "to flatter, caress," from Latin blandiri "flatter, soothe, caress, coax," from blandus "smooth-talking, flattering, alluring," perhaps from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft." OED reports it rare in 17c., 18c., and Johnson says he knows it only from Milton. Related: Blandished; blandishing.
blenny (n.)

type of small fish, 1774, from Latin blennius (in Pliny), from Greek blennos, from blenna "slime, snot, mucous discharge," so called for the coating on its scales (from PIE *mled-sno-, suffixed form of root *mel- (1) "soft"). "The Blennies (B. gattorugine and allied species) are little fishes common in the rock pools, often called Butterfishes from the slime or mucus which they exude. Hence their name" [Thompson, "A Glossary of Greek Fishes"].

emollient (adj.)

"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.

enamel (v.)

"to lay enamel upon, cover or decorate with enamel," early 14c., from Anglo-French enamailler (early 14c.), from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + amailler "to enamel," variant of Old French esmailler, from esmal "enamel," from Frankish *smalt, from Proto-Germanic *smaltjan "to smelt" (see smelt (v.)). Related: Enameled; enameler; enameling.

malacia (n.)

"morbid softness of tissue," 1650s, from Latinized form of Greek malakia "softness, delicacy, effeminacy," from malakos "soft," from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft." Related: Malacic.

malaxation (n.)

"act of moistening and softening by kneading or rolling," 1650s, from Late Latin malaxationem (nominative malaxatio) "a softening," noun of action from past-participle stem of malaxare "to soften, mollify," from Greek malassein "to make soft," related to malakos "soft," from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft." Earlier forms in English were malaxate (adj.), early 15c.; malaxen (v.), late 14c.

malt (n.)

"grain (usually barley) in which, by heat, the starch is converted to sugar," Old English malt (Anglian), mealt (West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *maltam (source also of Old Norse malt, Old Saxon malt, Middle Dutch, Dutch mout, Old High German malz, German Malz "malt"), possibly from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft" via the notion of "softening" the grain by steeping it in water before brewing.

By the addition of hops, and the subsequent processes of cooling, fermentation, and clarification, the wort is converted into porter, ale, or beer. The alcoholic fermentation of the wort without the addition of hops and distillation yield crude whisky. [Century Dictionary]

Finnish mallas, Old Church Slavonic mlato are considered to be borrowed from Germanic. Meaning "liquor produced by malt" is from 1718. As an adjective, "pertaining to, containing, or made with malt," 1707; malt liquor (which is fermented, not brewed) is attested from 1690s. 

melt (v.)

Middle English melten, from Old English meltan (intransitive) "become liquid through heat" (class III strong verb; past tense mealt, past participle molten), from Proto-Germanic *meltanan; fused with Old English gemæltan (Anglian), gemyltan (West Saxon) "make liquid, reduce from a solid to a fluid state by means of heat" (transitive), from Proto-Germanic *gamaltijan (source also of Old Norse melta "to digest").

Both Germanic words are from PIE *meldh- (source also of Sanskrit mrduh "soft, mild," Greek meldein "to melt, make liquid," Latin mollis "soft, mild"), from root *mel- (1) "soft." Also in Middle English "dissolve" (of salt, sugar, etc.), "corrode" (of iron), "putrefy" (of flesh). Meaning "pass imperceptibly from one thing into another" is by 1781. Related: Melted; melting.

Figurative use "to diminish, wane; be touched, grow tender" is by c. 1200; transitive sense of "soften" (to love, pity, tenderness) is by early 14c. Of food, to melt in (one's) mouth is from 1690s. Melting point "degree of temperature at which a solid body melts" is by 1807. Melting pot is from early 15c.; figurative use from 1855; popularized with reference to immigrant assimilation in the United States by the play "The Melting Pot" by Israel Zangwill (1908):

DAVID Yes, East and West, and North and South, the palm and the pine, the pole and the equator, the crescent and the cross—how the great Alchemist melts and fuses them with his purging flame! Here shall they all unite to build the Republic of Man and the Kingdom of God. Ah, Vera, What is the glory of Rome and Jerusalem where all nations and races come to worship and look back, compared with the glory of America where all races and nations come to labour and look forward!