synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of ease in English

English Online Dictionary. What means ease‎? What does ease mean?



From Middle English ese, eise, aise, from Anglo-Norman ese (ease), from Old French eise, aise (elbow room; opportunity), of uncertain and obscure origin. Apparently related to Provençal ais, Italian agio and asio, Sicilian aciu and Portuguese azo. Sometimes ascribed to Vulgar Latin *āsia or *āsium, possibly from Latin ānsa (handle, haft) or Frankish *ansiju (handle, loophole, eyelet; cup-handle; arms akimbo, elbow room), but more often derived from Vulgar Latin *adjace(m), from Latin adjacēns (adjacent, neighbouring), present participle of adjaceō (lie next to, border on), though the forms and senses are difficult to trace clearly.

Alternatively, possibly from a non-Latin source such as Germanic or Celtic on the basis of the conflicting forms which appear in various Romance languages. Compare Old English īeþe (easy), Gothic 𐌰𐌶𐌴𐍄𐌹 (azēti, ease; pleasure), *𐌰𐌶𐌴𐍄𐍃 (*azēts, easy), Breton eaz, ez (easy), Irish adhais (easy; leisure). See also eath.

The verb is from Middle English esen, ultimately of the same origin.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /iːz/
  • (US) enPR: ēz, IPA(key): /iz/,
  • Rhymes: -iːz
  • Homophones: ees, E's, 'e's


ease (uncountable)

  1. Ability, the means to do something, particularly:
    1. Skill, dexterity, facility.
  2. Comfort, a state or quality lacking unpleasantness, particularly:
    1. Freedom from pain, hardship, and annoyance, sometimes (derogatory, archaic) idleness, sloth.
    2. Freedom from worry and concern; peace; sometimes (derogatory, archaic) indifference.
    3. Freedom from difficulty.
    4. Freedom from effort, leisure, rest.
    5. Freedom from financial effort or worry; affluence.
    6. Freedom from embarrassment or awkwardness; grace.
  3. Relief, an end to discomfort, particularly:
    1. Followed by of or from: release from or reduction of pain, hardship, or annoyance.
    2. (euphemistic, obsolete) Release from intestinal discomfort: defecation.
    3. Release from constraint, obligation, or a constrained position.
    4. (clothing) Additional space provided to allow greater movement.
  4. (obsolete) A convenience; a luxury.
  5. (obsolete) A relief; an easement.


  • (ability): ability, dexterity, facility, skill
  • (comfort): comfort, peace
  • (freedom from worry): peace of mind
  • (freedom from effort): free time, leisure, relaxation, rest

Derived terms

Related terms

  • easy, easiness



ease (third-person singular simple present eases, present participle easing, simple past and past participle eased)

  1. (transitive) To free (something) from pain, worry, agitation, etc.
  2. (transitive) To alleviate, assuage or lessen (pain).
  3. (transitive) To give respite to (someone).
  4. (nautical, transitive) To loosen or slacken the tension on a line.
  5. (transitive) To reduce the difficulty of (something).
  6. (transitive) To move (something) slowly and carefully.
  7. (intransitive) To lessen in intensity.
  8. (intransitive) To proceed with little effort.


  • (free (something) from pain, worry, agitation, etc): assuage, salve
  • (alleviate, assuage or lessen (pain)): allay, alleviate, assuage, lessen, reduce
  • (give respite to (someone)): give someone a break (informal), lay off (informal)
  • (loosen or slacken the tension on (something)): loosen, relax, slacken
  • (reduce the difficulty of (something)): facilitate, simplify
  • (lessen in severity): lessen, reduce
  • (proceed with little effort): cruise

Derived terms




  • ESEA

Middle English


ease (plural eases)

  1. Alternative spelling of ese

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