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

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



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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 By having a free agent who gave up money to facilitate such manipulations below the hard cap, which is what James Harden did for the 76ers. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 8 Sep. 2022 Signify works with a group of doctors to facilitate house calls. Laura Cooper, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2022 Bronson opposed spending that included $11.8 million to the Rasmuson Foundation to facilitate the purchase of the Aptel Hotel or other properties for conversion into low-income and supportive housing units. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Aug. 2022 Quinn Ecological was founded in 2007 to facilitate amphibian and reptile research, conservation and preservation. Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant, 26 Aug. 2022 There are numerous tools set up to facilitate remote collaboration, but none of these quite replicate being able to work in a space together. Grant Powell, Forbes, 26 Aug. 2022 The village of Greendale is looking to create a tax incremental financing district and spend about $10.5 million in village funds to facilitate the redevelopment of the former Boston Store property at Southridge Mall. Bob Dohr, Journal Sentinel, 25 Aug. 2022 Youngkin said that the effort hinges on local residents working together in a public-private partnership, with government pitching in to facilitate. Gregory S. Schneider, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2022 Both Ukraine and Russia have expressed willingness in recent days to facilitate an IAEA inspection of the site. Claire Parker, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Aug. 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.

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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Time Traveler for facilitate

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The first known use of facilitate was in 1599

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Dictionary Entries Near facilitate

facilis descensus Averno



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Last Updated

17 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Facilitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facilitate. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for facilitate


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

Kids Definition of facilitate

: to make easier


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)


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


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