facilitate

verb
fa·​cil·​i·​tate | \ fə-ˈsi-lə-ˌtāt \
facilitated; facilitating

Definition of facilitate

transitive verb

: to make easier : help bring about facilitate growth

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Other Words from facilitate

facilitative \ fə-​ˈsi-​lə-​ˌtā-​tiv \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for facilitate

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

complicate

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Emails showed that facilitating oil drilling was a key reason behind the Interior Department’s decision to undo federal protections. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Ryan Zinke to resign as Interior Secretary at the end of the year," 15 Dec. 2018 Rent payments can count toward a renter’s credit score, as both Cozy and Avail have partnerships with credit agencies to facilitate it. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Online property management tools are moving the landlord-tenant relationship to the internet," 7 Nov. 2018 Even better, Matchbook takes care of all the taxes and paperwork necessary to produce and sell liquor—something this new law facilitates. Devorah Lev-tov, Vogue, "This Woman Is Changing the Liquor Landscape, One Custom-Made Bottle at a Time," 11 Oct. 2018 After all, the retailer facilitates access to authentic Asian beauty products in a way that, arguably, even a trip to South Korea can't. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Peach & Lily Is Adding 4 New K-Beauty Products to Its Amazing Skin-Care Line," 15 Aug. 2018 Alade said Fitz Forward has facilitated about five such sales. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's showcase neighborhood project falls a year behind schedule," 3 July 2018 Milton staff and a representative of the city’s consultant, Technical Forestry Consultants, will facilitate a review and discussion of the ordinance, officials said. David Ibata, ajc, "Milton invites comments on new tree ordinance," 11 June 2018 Laurie Childers, a representative of the United Way of Southwest Alabama, said that organization facilitates the program in conjunction with the Mobile Area Education Foundation and the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. Lawrence Specker, AL.com, "Three Mobile students visiting Germany for Airbus gala," 2 May 2018 Chances are that Trump's people facilitated this scoop, using a mysterious intermediary to maintain plausible deniability. Jay Willis, GQ, "What Mueller's Questions for Trump Might Tell Us About His Investigation," 1 May 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.

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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

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Statistics for facilitate

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for facilitate

The first known use of facilitate was in 1599

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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 \
facilitated; facilitating

Kids Definition of facilitate

: to make easier

facilitate

transitive verb
fa·​cil·​i·​tate | \ fə-ˈsil-ə-ˌtāt \
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)

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facilitate

transitive verb
fa·​cil·​i·​tate | \ fə-ˈsi-lə-ˌtāt \
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 \ noun

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Comments on facilitate

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