French word of the day: Assouplissement

French word of the day: Assouplissement
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This might be something that you're looking forward to without knowing it.

Why do I need to know assouplissement?

Because it's probably what you're wishing for right now.

What does it mean?

The word means an easing or a relaxation of something and comes from souple – flexible.

It's most commonly used to mean a relaxation of rules or conditions, but can also be used in the physical sense so if you're looking for a stretch workout that will make you more flexible, you could search for les meilleurs exercises d'assouplissment.

It can also be used in more specific contexts such as assouplissement quantitatif – quantitative easing.

The reason you might want to know it now is that it's being used to describe a possible lifting or some lockdown rules, while keeping others in place.

French media predicting the next stage of France's lockdown say: Ce n'est pas un déconfinement, c'est juste un assouplissement – this is not ending lockdown, it is just a relaxation of some of the rules.

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Use it like this

J'espère vraiment qu'il y aura un assouplissement de la règle de 1km, ça me rend fou de ne pas pouvoir faire une bonne course – I really hope there will be a relaxation of the 1km exercise rule, I'm going crazy without a proper run 

Pensez-vous que Macron va annoncer un assouplissement de confinement la semaine prochaine ? – Do you think Macron will announce a relaxation of lockdown rules next week?

Au retour du congé parental, les parents auront le droit de demander un assouplissement de leurs conditions de travail – On their return from parental leave, parents will have the right to request flexible working conditions


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