"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.
updated on November 06, 2018