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

Axios reports that the state of Texas is investing $25 million in grants and likely millions in property tax abatements to facilitate the expansion. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple will spend $1 billion and hire up to 15,000 people for new Austin office," 13 Dec. 2018 To facilitate their research, biologists regularly order short, custom pieces of DNA from companies that specialize in their manufacture. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 The concept is simple: to facilitate a dialogue between perpetrator and survivor, allowing both sides to talk openly. Isobel Yeung, Glamour, "For Some Sexual Assault Survivors, Justice Looks Like a Sit-Down With Their Assailant," 16 Oct. 2018 Step 4 In a process called insemination, the sperm and eggs are placed together in a petri dish and stored that way to facilitate fertilization. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Health & Fitness," 1 Oct. 2018 This center, operated by Mass Audubon, is a rich resource with plenty of observation decks, touch pools, exhibitions, and guided talks to facilitate a deeper understanding of just how ecologically important this part of the coast is. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips From Boston," 9 Aug. 2018 The county is willing to step up to facilitate the changes that are necessary to promote the public health and well-being of Sativa customers. Ruben Vives, latimes.com, "Agency that delivered brown, smelly water to customers should be dissolved, board rules," 12 July 2018 DirectConnectMKE, a workforce development social media platform that went online Thursday morning, aims to facilitate the job search by connecting potential employees with employers and with each other. Ahmed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Aldermen unveil new app to help combat unemployment in Milwaukee," 12 July 2018 Geographic Information Systems have been a staple in the conservation toolkit for years, providing interactive maps to facilitate environmental monitoring, regulatory enforcement, and preservation planning. Bill Gourgey, WIRED, "How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters," 10 July 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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Last Updated

22 Jan 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

: 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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a complex dispute or argument

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