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What is a verb and also a phrasal verb to describe to gradually feel less of an emotion (anger) over a period of time to the point of almost non-existent?

For example: John was ridiculed by Dave during class, making him want to punch Dave out, but at the time it was inconvenient to do so. By the time class is over his anger has already ___ and he no longer wanted to give him a beating.

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For this particular case I would use "cooled", but that doesn't apply to all emotions. –  JeffSahol May 26 '12 at 1:33
    
I like the informality of it. Is there a phrasal verb that can apply to this? –  Theo May 26 '12 at 2:14
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After he cooled off, he no longer... After he cooled down, ... –  JeffSahol May 26 '12 at 2:57
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6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

dissipate: "(with reference to a feeling or emotion) disappear or cause to disappear"

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In the context of your example (with some tense changes), especially when referring to anger, I would use "By the time class was over, his anger had already subsided".

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I would say diminished or died out.

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Dissipated works for this purpose. Merriam-Webster defines the word to mean "to cause to spread thin or scatter and gradually vanish." It's often used in reference to feelings and also to the loss of energy as in "the heat from the car dissipated after parking in the shade" or "his anger dissipated as the situation became clear."

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I would say that abated fits here.

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I would also consider ebb, eddy, or wane.

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Ebb and wane are nice, but where do you get eddy? –  Daniel Jul 9 '12 at 21:11
    
I don't understand the question. The usage I'm sugesting here would be simile with the tide.. ? Are you asking for a literary quote? –  M Yui Jul 9 '12 at 21:25
    
No, I'm asking why you think eddy can be used to mean the same as ebb and wane. Eddy means to move at variance with the main current in a stream of liquid, especially in a rotary motion (modified from Dictionary.com). –  Daniel Jul 9 '12 at 21:27
    
Hmmm, well, I think I may have gotten it from Shakespeare. Something about the eddy of the tide of somebodies pride... being forced back out to .. sorry. It doesn't seem to want to google and I can't remember it. –  M Yui Jul 9 '12 at 21:37
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Well, it doesn't fit. –  Daniel Jul 9 '12 at 21:38
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