facilitate

verb
fa·​cil·​i·​tate | \ fə-ˈsi-lə-ˌtāt How to pronounce facilitate (audio) \
facilitated; facilitating

Definition of facilitate

transitive verb

: to make easier : help bring about facilitate growth

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from facilitate

facilitative \ fə-​ˈsi-​lə-​ˌtā-​tiv How to pronounce facilitative (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for facilitate

Synonyms

ease, grease, loosen (up), smooth, unclog

Antonyms

complicate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

As with so many English words, it's easy to find a Latin origin for facilitate. It traces back to the Latin adjective facilis, meaning "easy." Other descendants of facilis in English include facile ("easy to do"), facility ("the quality of being easily performed"), faculty ("ability"), and difficult (from dis- plus facilis, which equals "not easy"). Facilis in turn comes from facere, a Latin verb meaning "to make or do." Facere has played a role in the development of dozens of English words, ranging from affect to surfeit.

Examples of facilitate in a Sentence

The strength of the inner identities that black women forged and nurtured during slavery facilitated the transition to freedom. — Darlene Clark Hine, Lure and Loathing, 1993 What physical events might have facilitated the evolution of macroscopic animals? — Andrew H. Knoll, Scientific American, October 1991 Nothing so facilitates writing as actually having something to say, yet the conditions under which, and the tools with which, writing is done can contribute to facility—or to difficulty. — Joseph Epstein, The Middle of My Tether, 1983 Cutting taxes may facilitate economic recovery. Her rise to power was facilitated by her influential friends. The moderator's role is to facilitate the discussion by asking appropriate questions.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Set a festive table that facilitates the passing of dishes and sharing of stories, with local napkins and tableware taking center stage. Sara-mae Albert, ELLE Decor, "How to Be the Ultimate Weekend Host for Out-of-Town Guests," 15 May 2019 The owner of the New York Stock Exchange is betting on further digitization of the U.S. mortgage market with the $335 million acquisition of Simplifile, a firm that facilitates electronic processing of mortgage records. Alexander Osipovich, WSJ, "NYSE Owner Bets on Mortgage Digitization," 1 May 2019 The agency that later facilitated Jen and Sarah's adoption of the Davis siblings closed in 2011, but at the time it was known as the Permanent Family Resource Center. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 6: "Beautiful Black Boys"," 15 Jan. 2019 Sidoo has pleaded not guilty to paying Singer to facilitate the cheating and has denied the allegations against him. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Seattle Times, "Test taker pleads guilty in college admissions bribery scam," 13 Apr. 2019 Last year, Beijing wanted to lure Chinese tech companies to list in the mainland by issuing Chinese depository receipts dubbed CDR, akin to the ADRs and GDRs used to facilitate global companies in New York and London. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Irrational Exuberance Endangers China’s Nasdaq," 3 Apr. 2019 In less than a year, InLieu has facilitated more than $160,000 in donations to 286 charities. Emily Farra, Vogue, "You Can Win Tickets to Fashion Week by Donating to Your Favorite Designer’s Charity of Choice," 4 Feb. 2019 And Interstate 35, dubbed the NAFTA Superhighway due to the amount of shipping it facilitates to and from Mexico, cuts right through the center of town. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "San Antonio, the nation’s fastest-growing city, sees downtown rebound," 23 Oct. 2018 Hire Heroes has facilitated more than 21,500 successful hires since its founding in 2014. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Thank You For Your Service. Now What?," 17 Oct. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of facilitate

1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for facilitate

probably from Middle French faciliter "to make easy" (borrowed from Italian facilitare, verbal derivative of facilità facility) + -ate entry 4

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about facilitate

Listen to Our Podcast about facilitate

Statistics for facilitate

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for facilitate

The first known use of facilitate was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for facilitate

facilitate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of facilitate

formal
: to make (something) easier : to help cause (something)
: to help (something) run more smoothly and effectively

facilitate

verb
fa·​cil·​i·​tate | \ fə-ˈsi-lə-ˌtāt How to pronounce facilitate (audio) \
facilitated; facilitating

Kids Definition of facilitate

: to make easier

facilitate

transitive verb
fa·​cil·​i·​tate | \ fə-ˈsil-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce facilitate (audio) \
facilitated; facilitating

Medical Definition of facilitate

: to increase the likelihood, strength, or effectiveness of (as behavior or a response) reflexes can be facilitated or inhibited also : to lower the threshold for transmission of (an impulse)

Keep scrolling for more

facilitate

transitive verb
fa·​cil·​i·​tate | \ fə-ˈsi-lə-ˌtāt How to pronounce facilitate (audio) \
facilitated; facilitating

Legal Definition of facilitate

: to make easier : help bring about a vehicle used to facilitate commission of the offense

Other Words from facilitate

facilitation \ fə-​ˌsi-​lə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce facilitation (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on facilitate

What made you want to look up facilitate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!