facilitate

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

Essential Meaning of facilitate

formal
1 : to make (something) easier : to help cause (something) Cutting taxes may facilitate economic recovery. Her rise to power was facilitated by her influential friends.
2 : to help (something) run more smoothly and effectively The moderator's role is to facilitate the discussion by asking appropriate questions.

Full Definition of facilitate

transitive verb

: to make easier : help bring about facilitate growth

Other Words from facilitate

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for facilitate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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 This past fall, a vaccine requirement helped to facilitate a successful term with in-person classes and activities marked by an exceptionally low number of positive cases. Sam Dorman, Fox News, 8 Jan. 2022 One of the Morgans’ attorneys in their Birmingham office was friends with Neal’s mother, which helped facilitate the marketing deal that was announced earlier this month after a similar agreement with Georgia’s Jordan Davis. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, 23 Nov. 2021 The latest New York season featured its first Black housewife, Eboni K. Williams, who helped facilitate conversations about race with the white cast. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, 17 Nov. 2021 The show’s producers helped facilitate a romantic day for the couple that would lead to a big surprise for Ashley. Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2021 The auction house helped facilitate a settlement between the heirs of Cox, Meirowsky and Rothschild, allowing the painting to be sold, Christie’s said. Carlie Porterfield, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2021 Government spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said on Twitter that the Taliban government in Afghanistan helped facilitate the cease-fire between the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. The Associated. Press, Arkansas Online, 9 Nov. 2021 Betar’s recent move to YouTube has helped facilitate this dynamic. Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2021 Commends the high-level champions for their leadership and actions to date to facilitate the scaling up and introduction of new and strengthened voluntary efforts by nonParty stakeholders; 55. CNN, 10 Nov. 2021

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

Learn More About facilitate

Time Traveler for facilitate

Time Traveler

The first known use of facilitate was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About facilitate

Dictionary Entries Near facilitate

facilis descensus Averno

facilitate

facilitation

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for facilitate

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Facilitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facilitate. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for facilitate

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)

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 facilitate (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on facilitate

Nglish: Translation of facilitate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of facilitate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!