Simple Definition of alleviate
: to reduce the pain or trouble of (something) : to make (something) less painful, difficult, or severe
Full Definition of alleviate
Examples of alleviate in a sentence
For decades, as you probably know, researchers have found that when you tell patients that you're giving them medicine, many report that their symptoms are alleviated, even if they're only taking sugar pills. —Daniel Zwerdling, Gourmet, August 2004
Granholm has spent the morning giving a major public address on state finance issues, courting local officials in meetings, and, in between, talking with me. We'd discussed the state of the Michigan economy and her ideas for developing a new high-tech corridor outside Detroit that focuses on homeland security innovation; we went over her ideas for alleviating overcrowding in the state's emergency rooms. —Jonathan Cohn, New Republic, 14 Oct. 2002
When applied in ointment form, capsaicin helps alleviate the discomfort of arthritis and psoriasis. Taken internally as a diluted tincture, it helps keep the blood flowing smoothly and strengthens the cardiovascular system. —Nina Simonds, Gourmet, September 2002
Ridley, a British journalist with a doctoral degree in zoology, does touch on the incredible potential of genetics for alleviating human misery. … But much of his remarkable book is focused on a higher plane of pure intellectual discovery. —Lee M. Silver, New York Times Book Review, 27 Feb. 2000
Before discussing what must be done to alleviate the environmental and social crises afflicting the globe, Chief Oren Lyons … of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation, wanted to drive to a gym in Syracuse, New York, and watch his son shadowbox. —Paul Schneider, Audubon, March/April 1994
finding ways to alleviate stress
<a car pool alleviates some of the stress of driving the kids to and from school every day>
Did You Know?
Alleviate derives from the past participle of Late Latin alleviare ("to lighten or relieve"), which in turn was formed by combining the prefix ad- and the adjective "levis," a Latin word meaning "light" or "having little weight." ("Levis" comes from the same ancient word that gave rise to "light" in English.) We acquired "alleviate" in the 15th century, and for the first few centuries the word could mean either "to cause (something) to have less weight" or "to make (something) more tolerable." The literal "make lighter" sense is no longer used, however, so today we have only the "relieve" sense. Incidentally, not only is "alleviate" a synonym of "relieve," it's also a cousin; "relieve" comes from "levare" ("to raise"), which in turn comes from "levis."
Origin of alleviate
Late Latin alleviatus, past participle of alleviare, from Latin ad- + levis light — more at light
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of alleviate
Rhymes with alleviate
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ALLEVIATE Defined for Kids
Definition of alleviate for Students
: to make less painful, difficult, or severe <A good long rest alleviated her headache.>
Seen and Heard
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