mitigate

verb
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Definition of mitigate

transitive verb

1 : to cause to become less harsh or hostile : mollify aggressiveness may be mitigated or … channeled— Ashley Montagu
2a : to make less severe or painful : alleviate mitigate a patient's suffering
b : extenuate attempted to mitigate the offense

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Other Words from mitigate

mitigative \ ˈmi-​tə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \ adjective
mitigator \ ˈmi-​tə-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \ noun
mitigatory \ ˈmi-​ti-​gə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for mitigate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for mitigate

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable. took an aspirin to relieve the pain alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. the lotion alleviated the itching lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight. good news would lighten our worries assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable. ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful. the need to mitigate barbaric laws allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms. allayed their fears

Mitigate vs. Militate: Usage Guide

Mitigate is sometimes used as an intransitive (followed by against) where militate might be expected. Even though Faulkner used it some intangible and invisible social force that mitigates against him — William Faulkner and one critic thinks it should be called an American idiom, it is usually considered a mistake.

mitigate or militate?

Would it be correct to say, "His boyish appearance mitigated against his getting an early promotion"? Most usage commentators would say "no." They feel such examples demonstrate a long-standing confusion between mitigate and the look-alike militate. Those two words are not closely related etymologically (mitigate descends from the Latin verb mitigare, meaning "to soften," whereas militate traces to militare, another Latin verb that means "to engage in warfare"), nor are they particularly close in meaning (militate means "to have weight or effect"). The confusion between the two has existed for long enough that one commentator thinks "mitigate against" should be accepted as an idiomatic alternative to militate, but if you want to avoid criticism, you should keep mitigate and militate distinct.

Examples of mitigate in a Sentence

At the far end of the room is a sliding glass door, taped with an X to mitigate shattering. The framing is flimsy, and rattles from mortar rounds even a half mile away. — William Langewiesche, Atlantic, May 2005 … a genre novel whose inevitable cinematic ending doesn't mitigate the visceral and emotional power of what has come before. It lingers in the memory like a very bad dream. — Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books, 14 Aug. 2003 For 65 holes Norman dominated the classic rolling fairways and small, subtle greens of Olympic … with driving and iron play so solid that it mitigated mediocre putting. — Jaime Diaz, Sports Illustrated, 8 Nov. 1993 Emergency funds are being provided to help mitigate the effects of the disaster. medicines used to mitigate a patient's suffering
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Recent Examples on the Web There are few no-risk activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are ways to mitigate risks. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 8 May 2021 But there are ways to mitigate these risks and turn that work into opportunities. Giacomo Chiesi, STAT, 29 Apr. 2021 However, with the right tax strategies, there may be ways to mitigate self-employment tax. Karlton Dennis, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 Cruise lines are planning a comeback this year, after rethinking safety protocols and collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 onboard. Paul Brady, Travel + Leisure, 1 Mar. 2021 Part of that, experts said, is accepting that climate change is happening and finding ways to mitigate its impact. James Barragán, Dallas News, 24 Feb. 2021 Just because sibling rivalry is to be expected does not mean there aren’t ways to mitigate it. Jessica Grose, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2021 In an 80-page report the NTSB wrote that a review of emergency response guidelines from 36 manufacturers found that all had ways to mitigate the risk of high-voltage shocks including methods for disconnecting the battery. Tom Krisher, ajc, 13 Jan. 2021 Increasingly, the projects go beyond taking carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere to create environmental benefit and mitigate the effects of climate change. Christopher Marquis, Forbes, 18 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mitigate.' 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 mitigate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mitigate

Middle English, from Latin mitigatus, past participle of mitigare to soften, from mitis soft + -igare (akin to Latin agere to drive); akin to Old Irish moíth soft — more at agent

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Time Traveler for mitigate

Time Traveler

The first known use of mitigate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for mitigate

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mitigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mitigate. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for mitigate

mitigate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of mitigate

formal : to make (something) less severe, harmful, or painful

mitigate

transitive verb
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmit-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Medical Definition of mitigate

: to make less severe or painful

mitigate

verb
mit·​i·​gate | \ ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \
mitigated; mitigating

Legal Definition of mitigate

transitive verb

: to lessen or minimize the severity of what actions the State took to mitigate the hazardous conditionsEstate of Arrowwood v. State, 894 P.2d 642 (1995) factors that mitigate the crime — see also mitigation of damages sense 1 — compare aggravate

intransitive verb

: to lessen or minimize the severity of one's losses or damage a failure to mitigate

Other Words from mitigate

mitigation \ ˌmi-​tə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \ noun
mitigative \ ˈmi-​tə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce mitigate (audio) \ adjective

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