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(pronounced ih-mol-yunt)  adjective


1. having a softening or soothing effect, esp. to the skin. 2. making less harsh, rough, irritating, unpleasant, etc.; designed to placate or mollify; making more tranquil or placid.

Main Example

  • No sooner had President Trump used that vulgar slur with reference to Haiti and black-majority African countries during a White House meeting on immigration, the utterance traveled around the globe at the speed of light. [Reportedly, Trump said: “Why are we having people from shithole countries coming here?”] As you can imagine, American diplomats immediately swung into action, employing their customary emollient language and techniques to mollify some extremely upset nations.

Workplace Examples

  • We have a really angry customer on our hands. I just spoke to a VP at The ABC Co. and I fully appreciate their indignation. My suggestion: we tell our salesperson Frank to drop whatever he is doing and visit put out this fire quickly using his uniquely emollient approach to calming an agitated customer.
  • When it comes to people interactions, I am impressed at the way Phil has undergone an almost total “transformation.” Over the last two or three years, he has really been at it--trying to shed his reputation for being brash and abrasive and instead adopting a more emollient style.

Other Examples

  • in his seminar on “How to disarm and neutralize your critics and detractors without being offensive or disrespectful,” this author drawing on several “success stories,” which involve some of America’s most highly effective and successful communicators--people like Gen. Michael Hayden, Jamie Gorelick, Jamie Dimon, Marvin Odum, and Joel Klein--to demonstrate how some specific words, phrases, and techniques can work as an emollient
    [Do you know of an upcoming conference, convention, or other event where one of V.J.’s many seminar topics could be a good fit? If so, please let him know by calling 281-463-2500 or emailing Revenues from his seminars help fund the research and production of “Words of the Month.”]
  • an emollient color; an emollient sound; emollient music...
  • an emollient lotion or cream specifically designed to soothe dry skin during the winter months; a hand lotion being promoted for its “rich, highly effective emollients
  • the hope that Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will turn out to be a more emollient figure than the always combative Robert Mugabe
  • with regard to North Korea, some in the White House National Security Council arguing for a tougher and more aggressive approach, saying that the present state of affairs is a result of past U.S. administrations’ emollient actions and gestures

© 2018 V.J. Singal
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