mitigate was our Word of the Day on 11/08/2013. Hear the podcast!
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mitigate vs. militate
- some intangible and invisible social force that mitigates against him
- —William Faulkner
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
Recent Examples of mitigate from the Web
The draft policies have emphasized adapting to sinking houses rather than mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions.
Gilbert promised that the home builder would mitigate the mine's impacts on residents with a 300-foot buffer between the homes.
Bergin said that pet owners can mitigate that by making food.
Among Democrats, the lack of interest in the courts is evident even among the most educated and active voters of the party's base — an issue that strategists are trying to better understand and mitigate.
Kendricks explained that camaraderie mitigates the high risks of the pole vault, which requires athletes to be upside down, approaching 20 feet in the air.
So, while mitigating the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is key to reduce further ocean warming, environmental advocates want to find other ways to decrease the risk of coral reef harm, including limiting sunscreen chemicals.
We lower interest rates in order to try to moderate and mitigate the effects of a severe recession.
Instead, Hernandez’s public defender, William Reilly, sought to offer mitigating evidence.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of mitigate
Synonym Discussion of mitigate
- took an aspirin to relieve the pain
- the lotion alleviated the itching
- good news would lighten our worries
- ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat
- the need to mitigate barbaric laws
- allayed their fears
MITIGATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mitigate for English Language Learners
: to make (something) less severe, harmful, or painful
legal Definition of mitigate
- a failure to mitigate
Seen and Heard
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