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

Having a more focused light fixture near your work surface is going to help mitigate the shadows and allow for better focus on your work and won't strain your eyes. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "This Is How Some Of The World's Most Productive Offices Are Designed," 18 Sep. 2018 And that's why maybe conservatives might be happier, is that religion helps mitigate the envy and the dissatisfaction that happens with status inequality. Fox News, "Democrats eye 'fresh face' for 2020," 19 July 2018 Graham tells Victoria Gill at the BBC that rat eradication could also help mitigate the impacts of climate change, since healthier reefs are more resilient and can probably recover faster from warm-water bleaching events. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Coral Reefs Need Fewer Rats and More Bird Poo," 12 July 2018 The bridge is expected to help mitigate some of the city’s bicycle and pedestrian safety issues, but officials don’t expect travelers will stray too far from their regular route to use the bridge. Ryan Gillespie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Pedestrian bridge to take shape as steel truss is installed during Colonial Drive closure," 12 July 2018 Barton says reforestation would also help mitigate the problem of leftover pollution, because trees naturally temper such storm runoff. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "From Defiled to Wild—Can a Spent Coal Mine Be Reborn as a Nature Conservation Center?," 11 July 2018 Speak with your neighbor nicely and ask him or her to help mitigate the problem, perhaps by investing in smokeless ashtrays or by smoking outdoors. Gary M. Singer, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Ask a real estate pro: Neighbor's smoking is getting into my unit. What can I do?," 22 June 2018 These simple acts can help mitigate the risks for suicide. Larry Villano, Lpc, Lisac, USA TODAY, "The teen suicide rate has more than doubled: Here's how you can help save your child," 8 June 2018 Preschool children attend our Early Childhood Development Program, an accredited, Quality First 5-star, on-site program that helps mitigate the consequences of homelessness. Grace Palmieri, azcentral, "Season for Sharing awards grants to 153 Arizona non-profits," 15 Mar. 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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mitigable

mitigant

mitigate

mitigatedly

mitigation

mitimae

Statistics for mitigate

Last Updated

29 Nov 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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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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