facilitate

verb

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

transitive verb

: to make easier : help bring about
facilitate growth
facilitative adjective

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.

Example Sentences

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 In order to facilitate comparisons among individuals with similar backgrounds, a number of entrepreneurs from mainland China whose citizenship is not People’s Republic of China but whose main source of wealth is the mainland were included. Forbes Press Releases, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 Oklahoma would also likely object to partitioning in order to facilitate a tribal state, given its history of combining lands held by native populations with those of settlers. Thomas P. Crocker, The New Republic, 8 Nov. 2022 There’s also a new framework in place to fast-track visas for AV professionals as well as to facilitate permits across regions. Jennifer Green, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Nov. 2022 Attorneys filed a motion to dismiss Tuesday from the lawsuit filed in August protesting approved zoning changes by the city to facilitate the development off Gaslight Way in east Huntsville. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, 13 Oct. 2022 The funds also allege their ability to facilitate out-of-state abortions, which are protected by the right to interstate travel, will be restricted, according to court filings. Bynadine El-bawab, ABC News, 5 Oct. 2022 In order to facilitate this migration, the butterflies at Burnett’s were released at a special send-off celebration, held on Sept. 25. Melanie Savage, Hartford Courant, 4 Oct. 2022 Other parts of the effort: New guidance from the Food and Drug Administration to facilitate distribution of naloxone, medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel, 23 Sep. 2022 Poland’s Economic Chamber of Trades, Grain Processors & Feed Manufacturers, a trade body, said Warsaw hasn’t done enough to update its infrastructure to facilitate faster flows of grain. Alistair Macdonald And Karolina Jeznach, WSJ, 17 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of facilitate was in 1599

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near facilitate

Cite this Entry

“Facilitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facilitate. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

facilitate

verb

fa·​cil·​i·​tate fə-ˈsil-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce facilitate (audio)
facilitated; facilitating
: to make easier
facilitation
-ˌsil-ə-ˈtā-shən
noun

Medical Definition

facilitate

transitive verb

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

Legal Definition

facilitate

transitive verb

fa·​cil·​i·​tate fə-ˈsi-lə-ˌtāt How to pronounce facilitate (audio)
facilitated; facilitating
: to make easier : help bring about
a vehicle used to facilitate commission of the offense
facilitation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on facilitate

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