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 Paola, who asked that her last name be withheld for privacy and safety reasons, said she was motivated to create private online forums to help facilitate this type of information-sharing about dating experiences among women. Sara Ashley O'brien And Clare Duffy, CNN, 18 July 2022 The guilty plea was also a necessary strategy to help facilitate any sort of potential prisoner exchange. Lila Bromberg, Hartford Courant, 17 July 2022 The team is meant to help facilitate evidence sharing. Mike Corder, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 July 2022 The purpose of the map is to allow people to identify the centers and help facilitate academic research into the centers. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 July 2022 To help facilitate the deal, Mayfield agreed to take a $3.5 million pay cut. Steve Reed, ajc, 12 July 2022 USA Today quoted Jamison Firestone, an attorney and Russian legal expert, saying Griner's guilty plea could be part of a strategy to get a more lenient sentence, or to help facilitate a prisoner swap that could bring Griner home. The Arizona Republic, 7 July 2022 Many nutritionists recommend fruit as an evening snack because eating whole foods that contain a host of nutrients can help facilitate sleep. Alexa Mikhail, Fortune, 6 July 2022 The spokesperson added that the agency works with manufacturers to help facilitate a switch from prescription to nonprescription status. Mariana Lenharo, Scientific American, 20 June 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

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Facilitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facilitate. Accessed 7 Aug. 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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