mitigate

verb
mit·i·gate | \ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt \
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

mitigation \ˌmi-tə-ˈgā-shən \ noun
mitigative \ˈmi-tə-ˌgā-tiv \ adjective
mitigator \-ˌgā-tər \ noun
mitigatory \ˈmi-ti-gə-ˌtȯr-ē \ 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

Membership declines have been partially mitigated the immigration of Ukrainian Catholics to the region. Kristin E. Holmes, Philly.com, "The archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Philadelphia retires and goes home," 10 June 2018 Others want the plant to mitigate the smell, while several want the mine shuttered entirely. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Controversy in the air as Mesa homeowners decry neighboring asphalt plant’s odors," 11 July 2018 But that doesn’t necessarily mitigate a potential threat. Alyssa Newcomb /, NBC News, "Timehop breach: U.S. company navigates Europe's new data privacy rules," 11 July 2018 Jonathan Drescher, who is managing the Plaxall project, said the group would create a new drainage plan to account for added stress on the sewage system, and that the site will be engineered to mitigate flooding, not exacerbate it. New York Times, "New Buildings Rise in Flood Zones," 6 July 2018 In the months following the Drammer disclosure, Google mitigated the damage that malicious apps could do by making changes to Android’s ION memory manager, which restricted access to physical contiguous kernel memory. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "New RAMpage exploit revives Rowhammer attack to root Android devices," 2 July 2018 The committee's tactics -- and timing -- mitigated some of the almost instinctive opposition to its involvement. Dan Merica, CNN, "Crisis averted: How the Democrats avoided disaster in California," 6 June 2018 To their credit, the screenwriters mitigate the potential for corny science fiction technobabble by glossing over parts of how Reverie works. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "NBC’s new VR thriller Reverie is a schmaltzy take on techno-dystopia," 30 May 2018 State, county and municipal leaders have a lot of work to do to better prepare Georgia and mitigate the ongoing environmental impact of changes to its shores, agriculture and the health of its citizens, according to a study released Wednesday. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Georgia needs better research and resources to deal with changes in climate, new report says," 23 May 2018

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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mitigatedly

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mitimae

Statistics for mitigate

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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

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

mitigate

transitive verb
mit·i·gate | \ˈmit-ə-ˌgāt \
mitigated; mitigating

Medical Definition of mitigate 

: to make less severe or painful

mitigate

verb
mit·i·gate | \ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt \
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 \ noun
mitigative \ˈmi-tə-ˌgā-tiv \ adjective

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