Simple Definition of palliate
: to make the effects of (something, such as an illness) less painful, harmful, or harsh
Full Definition of palliate
1 : to reduce the violence of (a disease); also : to ease (symptoms) without curing the underlying disease
2 : to cover by excuses and apologies
3 : to moderate the intensity of <trying to palliate the boredom>
Examples of palliate in a sentence
treatments that can palliate the painful symptoms of the disease
<don't try to palliate your constant lying by claiming that everybody lies>
Did You Know?
Long ago, the ancient Romans had a name for the cloak-like garb that was worn by the Greeks (distinguishing it from their own "toga"); the name was "pallium." In the 15th century, English speakers modified the Late Latin word palliatus, which derives from "pallium," to form "palliate." Our term, used initially as both an adjective and a verb, never had the literal Latin sense referring to the cloak you wear, but it took on the figurative "cloak" of protection. Specifically, the verb "palliate" meant (as it still can mean) "to lessen the intensity of a disease." Nowadays, "palliate" can be used as a synonym of "gloss" or "whitewash" when someone is attempting to disguise something bad.
Origin of palliate
Middle English, from Late Latin palliatus, past participle of palliare to cloak, conceal, from Latin pallium cloak
First Known Use: 15th century
Rhymes with palliate
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