mitigate

verb
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Definition of mitigate

transitive verb

1 : to cause to become less harsh or hostile : mollify aggressiveness may be mitigated or … channeled— Ashley Montagu
2a : to make less severe or painful : alleviate mitigate a patient's suffering
b : extenuate attempted to mitigate the offense

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Other Words from mitigate

mitigation \ ˌmi-​tə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce mitigation (audio) \ noun
mitigative \ ˈmi-​tə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce mitigative (audio) \ adjective
mitigator \ -​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce mitigator (audio) \ noun
mitigatory \ ˈmi-​ti-​gə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce mitigatory (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for mitigate

Synonyms

allay, alleviate, assuage, ease, help, mollify, palliate, relieve, soothe

Antonyms

aggravate, exacerbate

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Choose the Right Synonym for mitigate

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable. took an aspirin to relieve the pain alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. the lotion alleviated the itching lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight. good news would lighten our worries assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable. ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful. the need to mitigate barbaric laws allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms. allayed their fears

Mitigate vs. Militate: Usage Guide

Mitigate is sometimes used as an intransitive (followed by against) where militate might be expected. Even though Faulkner used it some intangible and invisible social force that mitigates against him — William Faulkner and one critic thinks it should be called an American idiom, it is usually considered a mistake.

mitigate or militate?

Would it be correct to say, "His boyish appearance mitigated against his getting an early promotion"? Most usage commentators would say "no." They feel such examples demonstrate a long-standing confusion between mitigate and the look-alike militate. Those two words are not closely related etymologically (mitigate descends from the Latin verb mitigare, meaning "to soften," whereas militate traces to militare, another Latin verb that means "to engage in warfare"), nor are they particularly close in meaning (militate means "to have weight or effect"). The confusion between the two has existed for long enough that one commentator thinks "mitigate against" should be accepted as an idiomatic alternative to militate, but if you want to avoid criticism, you should keep mitigate and militate distinct.

Examples of mitigate in a Sentence

At the far end of the room is a sliding glass door, taped with an X to mitigate shattering. The framing is flimsy, and rattles from mortar rounds even a half mile away. — William Langewiesche, Atlantic, May 2005 … a genre novel whose inevitable cinematic ending doesn't mitigate the visceral and emotional power of what has come before. It lingers in the memory like a very bad dream. — Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books, 14 Aug. 2003 For 65 holes Norman dominated the classic rolling fairways and small, subtle greens of Olympic … with driving and iron play so solid that it mitigated mediocre putting. — Jaime Diaz, Sports Illustrated, 8 Nov. 1993 Emergency funds are being provided to help mitigate the effects of the disaster. medicines used to mitigate a patient's suffering
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Recent Examples on the Web

Efforts to mitigate the humanitarian crisis are ongoing. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Sends Condolences and a Donation in the Wake of Cyclone Idai," 21 Mar. 2019 The interrogation will be pored over by prosecutors and defense attorneys if Cruz attempts an insanity defense or for mitigating factors if he is convicted and faces the death penalty. Terry Spencer, The Seattle Times, "Parkland suspect: Voice told me to burn, kill, destroy," 6 Aug. 2018 Defense lawyer Pieter Botha, who plans to appeal the conviction and sentencing, had suggested van Breda’s youth and status as a first-time offender should be mitigating factors in the sentencing. Washington Post, "South African gets life in prison for ax murders of family," 7 June 2018 In just nine years, the government has attempted to mitigate a very narrow risk factor—an electrified car, not just any car, crashing into a blind adult. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Make Some Noise! No More Silent EVs and Hybrids, Says NHTSA [UPDATE]," 28 Feb. 2018 If aggravating circumstances outweigh mitigating factors, the jury is supposed to recommend a death sentence. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "This man stopped a Cincinnati killer's execution. Here's why he did it.," 19 Feb. 2018 O'Dea's lawyer submitted to the committee a resume of O'Dea's 30-year police career, awards and honors as mitigating factors. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Former Portland Police Chief Lary O'Dea to fight to keep his police certification," 15 Feb. 2018 Other residents have complained about the surges, and the port is spending nearly $100,000 on a study on ways to mitigate them. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "America's New Energy Coast," 19 Mar. 2019 The report, which was conducted by the nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), is a 62-page document that sets out to understand the dimensions of Facebook’s challenge in Myanmar and offer solutions to mitigate it. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One easy thing Facebook should do in Myanmar," 10 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mitigate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mitigate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mitigate

Middle English, from Latin mitigatus, past participle of mitigare to soften, from mitis soft + -igare (akin to Latin agere to drive); akin to Old Irish moíth soft — more at agent

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Dictionary Entries near mitigate

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mitigatedly

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mitimae

Statistics for mitigate

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mitigate

The first known use of mitigate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for mitigate

mitigate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of mitigate

formal : to make (something) less severe, harmful, or painful

mitigate

transitive verb
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmit-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Medical Definition of mitigate

: to make less severe or painful

mitigate

verb
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Legal Definition of mitigate

transitive verb

: to lessen or minimize the severity of what actions the State took to mitigate the hazardous conditionsEstate of Arrowwood v. State, 894 P.2d 642 (1995) factors that mitigate the crime — see also mitigation of damages sense 1 — compare aggravate

intransitive verb

: to lessen or minimize the severity of one's losses or damage a failure to mitigate

Other Words from mitigate

mitigation \ ˌmi-​tə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce mitigation (audio) \ noun
mitigative \ ˈmi-​tə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce mitigative (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on mitigate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mitigate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mitigate

Spanish Central: Translation of mitigate

Nglish: Translation of mitigate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mitigate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mitigate

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