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

Synonyms & Antonyms for mitigate

Synonyms

allay, alleviate, assuage, ease, help, mollify, palliate, relieve, soothe

Antonyms

aggravate, exacerbate

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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

That’s mitigated a bit by the fact that Eastwood, famously a workaholic, didn’t just cast himself in the film, but cast his own daughter, too, to play Earl’s neglected and hurt daughter. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Clint Eastwood’s new movie The Mule is exasperatingly flat," 14 Dec. 2018 Maybe the bye mitigates the fact that Seattle is again on the road, for the fifth time in seven weeks. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks-Lions keys to the game: Who will run it better? Can the Seahawks cool down Matthew Stafford?," 26 Oct. 2018 These are big, knotty, real problems, but the scooters didn’t cause them, and their disappearance won’t mitigate, let alone solve them. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Save the Scooters, Redesign the Streets, and Save San Francisco," 4 June 2018 None of that, of course, mitigates Dykstra’s shamelessness. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "Lenny Dykstra's latest incident leaves no doubt about who he really is | Mike Sielski," 25 May 2018 This also greatly mitigates the problem of extremely long-range, low-throughput devices that nevertheless end up hogging all the airtime because their QAM rate is so low, or their error-and-retry rate so high. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Downloading the newest Wi-Fi protocols: 802.11ax and 802.11ay explained," 27 Nov. 2018 Close to half of all calls to mobile phones will be fraudulent in 2019 unless measures are taken to mitigate the surge, according to a new report. Brooke Crothers, Fox News, "Nearly half all cell phone calls will be scams by 2019, report says," 21 Sep. 2018 Some argue that by supporting more housing development, Somerville can mitigate market pressures. BostonGlobe.com, "Should Somerville adopt a real estate transfer fee?," 18 May 2018 Efforts to mitigate the humanitarian crisis are ongoing. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Sends Condolences and a Donation in the Wake of Cyclone Idai," 21 Mar. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near mitigate

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mitimae

Statistics for mitigate

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mitigate

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

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mitigate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mitigate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mitigate

Spanish Central: Translation of mitigate

Nglish: Translation of mitigate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mitigate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mitigate

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