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ameliorate

play
verb ame·lio·rate \ə-ˈmēl-yə-ˌrāt, -ˈmē-lē-ə-\

Simple Definition of ameliorate

  • : to make (something, such as a problem) better, less painful, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ameliorate

amelioratedameliorating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make better or more tolerable

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to grow better

amelioration play \-ˌmēl-yə-ˈrā-shən, -ˌmē-lē-ə-\ noun
ameliorative play \-ˈmēl-yə-ˌrā-tiv, -ˈmē-lē-ə-\ adjective
ameliorator play \-ˌrā-tər\ noun
amelioratory play \-rə-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective

Examples of ameliorate in a sentence

  1. The disparate impact of the risk imposed by the “loser pays” rule can be ameliorated. Indeed, there are features of the British legal system which have led some observers to find the rule … to be considerably more benign to poorer litigants. —Edward F. Sherman, Texas Law Review, June 1998

  2. And, after all, some illnesses are psychogenic. Many can be at least ameliorated by a positive cast of mind. —Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1996

  3. Even the abolitionists gave their attention not to the task of ameliorating conditions among slaves but to transforming slaves into free people. —John Hope Franklin, “The Land of Room Enough,” 1981, in Race and History, 1989

  4. trying to ameliorate the suffering of people who have lost their jobs

  5. This medicine should help ameliorate the pain.



Did You Know?

Ameliorate traces back to "melior," the Latin adjective meaning "better," and is a synonym of the verbs "better" and "improve." When is it better to use "ameliorate"? If a situation is bad, "ameliorate" indicates that the conditions have been made more tolerable. Thus, one might refer to drugs that ameliorate the side effects of chemotherapy; a loss of wages ameliorated by unemployment benefits; or a harsh law ameliorated by special exceptions. "Improve" and "better" apply when what is being made better can be good or bad (as in "the weather improved" and "she bettered her lot in life"), and they should certainly be chosen over "ameliorate" when something good is getting better still ("he improved his successful program"; "she bettered her impressive scores").

Origin of ameliorate

alteration of meliorate (see meliorate)


First Known Use: 1656

Synonym Discussion of ameliorate

improve, better, help, ameliorate mean to make more acceptable or to bring nearer a standard. improve and better are general and interchangeable and apply to what can be made better whether it is good or bad <measures to further improve the quality of medical care> <immigrants hoping to better their lot>. help implies a bettering that still leaves room for improvement <a coat of paint would help that house>. ameliorate implies making more tolerable or acceptable conditions that are hard to endure <tried to ameliorate the lives of people in the tenements>.

Rhymes with ameliorate

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate



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