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comfort (v.)

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.

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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Definitions of comfort from WordNet
1
comfort (n.)
a state of being relaxed and feeling no pain;
he is a man who enjoys his comfort
Synonyms: comfortableness
comfort (n.)
a feeling of freedom from worry or disappointment;
comfort (n.)
the act of consoling; giving relief in affliction;
Synonyms: consolation / solace
comfort (n.)
a freedom from financial difficulty that promotes a comfortable state;
he had all the material comforts of this world
Synonyms: ease
comfort (n.)
satisfaction or physical well-being provided by a person or thing;
his friendship was a comfort
a padded chair was one of the room's few comforts
comfort (n.)
bedding made of two layers of cloth filled with stuffing and stitched together;
Synonyms: quilt / comforter / puff
comfort (n.)
assistance, such as that provided to an enemy or to a known criminal;
it gave comfort to the enemy
2
comfort (v.)
give moral or emotional strength to;
Synonyms: soothe / console / solace
comfort (v.)
lessen pain or discomfort; alleviate;
Synonyms: ease
From wordnet.princeton.edu