Etymology: Middle English esy, from Anglo-French eisé, aasié, past participle of eiser, aaisier to ease, from a- ad- (from Latin ad-) + eise ease
Date: 13th century
a. causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort <within easy reach> b. requiring or indicating little effort, thought, or reflection <easy clichés> 2. a. not severe ; lenient <hopes they'll be easy on him> b. not steep or abrupt <easy slopes> c. not difficult to endure or undergo <an easy penalty> d. readily taken advantage of <an easy target for takeovers> <an easy mark for con men> e. (1) readily available <easy pickings> (2) plentiful in supply at low or declining interest rates <easy money> (3) less in demand and usually lower in price <bonds were easier> f. pleasant <easy listening> g. sexually promiscuous 3. a. marked by peace and comfort <the easy life of a courtier> b. not hurried or strenuous <an easy pace> 4. a. free from pain, annoyance, or anxiety <did all she could to make him easier> b. marked by social ease <an air of easy assurance> c. easygoing <an easy disposition> 5. a. giving ease, comfort, or relaxation b. not burdensome or straitened <bought on easy terms> c. fitting comfortably ; allowing freedom of movement <easy jackets> d. marked by ready facility <an easy flowing style> e. felt or attained to readily, naturally, and spontaneously <an easy smile> • easiness noun Synonyms: easy, facile, simple, light, effortless, smooth mean not demanding effort or involving difficulty. easy is applicable either to persons or things imposing tasks or to activity required by such tasks <an easy college course>. facile often adds to easy the connotation of undue haste or shallowness <facile answers to complex questions>. simple stresses ease in understanding or dealing with because complication is absent <a simple problem in arithmetic>. light stresses freedom from what is burdensome <a light teaching load>. effortless stresses the appearance of ease and usually implies the prior attainment of artistry or expertness <moving with effortless grace>. smooth stresses the absence or removal of all difficulties, hardships, or obstacles <a smooth ride>. Synonym: see in addition comfortable. II. adverb (easier; -est) Date: 14th century 1. easily 1 <promises come easy> 2. without undue speed or excitement <take it easy> 3. a. without worry or care <rest easy> b. without a severe penalty <got off easy> c. without violent movement <the boat rode easy> 4. easily 2 <cost $500 easy>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.