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

transitive verb

: to make (something) easier
programs that facilitate access to health care
: such as
: to help bring (something) about
His campaign emphasized a variety of ways the federal government could help facilitate economic growth …Mead Gruver
Over the past two decades, the city has explored and made attempts to facilitate development of affordable housing on city-owned lots downtown.Ryan Stanton
: to help (something, such as a discussion) run more smoothly and effectively
The meeting included the full accountability team formed by the university, and the university facilitated the meeting, … sharing progress on initiatives underway …Kayla Lasure
facilitative adjective

Did you know?

English isn’t always easy, but the origin of facilitate is nothing but: the word 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"). English isn’t the only Latin-influenced language that has facilis to thank for "easy" words: the word for "easy" is fácil in both Spanish and Portuguese, and facile in both Italian and French. The way that facilitating something makes it "easy" (or "easier," as it were) can be likened to paving a road to make traveling to one’s destination smoother. Similarly, when we say, for example, that applying a healthy layer of mulch around the base of a newly planted tree facilitates robust growth, we mean that it (figuratively) paves the way for, or brings about, the sapling’s success.

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 As companies race to launch generative AI solutions to stay ahead of the curve, there is a significant risk of neglecting crucial parameters that facilitate broader accessibility in customer service. Raghu Ravinutala, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The rest of the cascading aft decks are dotted with lounges and alfresco dining areas, while the lengthy foredeck is home to a touch-and-go helipad that can facilitate comings and goings on the high seas. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 16 Feb. 2024 The unit would facilitate the exchange of information between law enforcement partners in the U.S. and Haiti, and enhance the abilities of both countries to investigate and prosecute those involved in transnational crimes. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 15 Feb. 2024 Related Articles The biggest catch will be money, and whether the Sharks would be willing to retain some of Labanc’s salary to help facilitate a deal. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, 15 Feb. 2024 In an effort to get more aid into Gaza, U.S., British and European officials pushed last month for Israel to facilitate the entry of aid through Ashdod. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 15 Feb. 2024 As Japan's tourism economy continues an impressive recovery approximately two years after removing COVID-19 travel restrictions, the visa would help facilitate longer-term stays and win over the economic contributions of some of the world's millions of remote workers. Hannah Towey, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Feb. 2024 Just as the invention of the cassette facilitated the creation and spread of these tapes, the internet would prove to be the next technological innovation that collectors would use to share hip-hop music. John Morrison, SPIN, 13 Feb. 2024 Highway 69, just blocks away, facilitates swift journeys across Johnson County and the metro area. Prime Development, Kansas City Star, 4 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'facilitate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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


Dictionary Entries Near facilitate

Cite this Entry

“Facilitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facilitate. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

Medical Definition


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


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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