moderate

1 of 3

adjective

mod·​er·​ate ˈmä-d(ə-)rət How to pronounce moderate (audio)
1
a
: avoiding extremes of behavior or expression : observing reasonable limits
a moderate drinker
b
: calm, temperate
Though very much in favor of the measure, he expressed himself in moderate language.
2
a
: tending toward the mean or average amount or dimension
a family of moderate income
b
: having average or less than average quality : mediocre
wrote moderate poetry to the end of his lifeCarl Van Doren
3
: not violent, severe, or intense
a moderate climate
moderate winters
cook over moderate heat
4
: professing or characterized by political or social beliefs that are not extreme
had left-wing, moderate, and right-wing candidates vying for the nomination
5
: limited in scope or effect
His new wealth had only a moderate effect on his way of life.
6
: not expensive : reasonable or low in price
a moderate price for a new house
7
of a color : of medium lightness and medium chroma
a moderate red
moderateness noun

moderate

2 of 3

verb

mod·​er·​ate ˈmä-də-ˌrāt How to pronounce moderate (audio)
moderated; moderating

transitive verb

1
: to lessen the intensity or extremeness of
the sun moderated the chill
2
: to preside over or act as chairman of
moderated the board of directors meeting
moderated the debate

intransitive verb

1
: to act as a moderator
He moderated on a weekly panel show.
2
: to become less violent, severe, or intense
the wind began to moderate
moderation noun

moderate

3 of 3

noun

mod·​er·​ate ˈmä-d(ə-)rət How to pronounce moderate (audio)
: one who holds moderate views or who belongs to a group favoring a moderate course or program

Example Sentences

Adjective Her doctor recommended moderate exercise. There were moderate levels of chemicals in the lake. drinking moderate amounts of coffee Most of these medicines relieve mild to moderate pain. a family of moderate income a book of moderate length The group met with only moderate success. a writer of moderate talent The hotel offers comfortable rooms at moderate prices. Both moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans can agree on this new law. Verb The protesters have been unwilling to moderate their demands. She moderates at our office meetings. She moderates our discussions so that we don't argue or talk at the same time. Noun Moderates from both political parties have agreed on an economic plan. to the community's detriment, moderates were often shouted down at town meetings by the local hotheads See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Governor Walsh had recently lost his reelection bid to Samuel W. McCall, a moderate Republican who’d courted progressives to oust the Democratic incumbent from office. Dick Lehr, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Jan. 2023 Launching a steady volley of verbal attacks on Democrats, and some moderate Republicans, Gingrich climbed the ladder of Republican leadership. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2023 McCarthy’s willingness to bend to ultraconservatives seems to have hurt his standing with more moderate Republicans like Texas Rep. Tony Gonzalez and South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace. Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 10 Jan. 2023 There is also a slight-to-moderate risk of excessive rainfall across much of northern and central California Saturday and Sunday. Allison Chinchar, CNN, 7 Jan. 2023 In contrast, Remdesivir is approved for all patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022 According to Shamban, the next three Juvederm products are used interchangeably to correct various folds and facial wrinkles from mild to moderate. Taylor Jean Stephan, Glamour, 21 Dec. 2022 This brand is best for customers looking for mild or moderate doses of CBD. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 9 Dec. 2022 The preventive drug Evusheld has been a potent adjunct to vaccine in protecting against infection, while the monoclonal antibody bebtelovimab has been used to treat mild or moderate COVID-19 in people who are at risk of becoming severely ill. Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec. 2022
Verb
Housing costs should also moderate later this year. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2023 Price increases in labor-intensive service industries such as health care and hospitality should then moderate. Mark Zandi, CNN, 5 Jan. 2023 Following the screening, Union-Tribune community opinion editor Tania Navarro will moderate a Q&A session with Tamayo and the journalists featured in the series. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Jan. 2023 The worst of the Arctic outbreak will be over this afternoon, then temperatures will moderate through the remainder of the week and this coming weekend. Hartford Courant, 26 Dec. 2022 With fewer job openings, and unemployment increasing, wage increases should moderate. Larry Edelman, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Dec. 2022 As part of the program King will also moderate a panel, Serving our Nation's Youth, which can be viewed on the brand's YouTube channel after Dec. 12. Jackie Fields, Peoplemag, 6 Dec. 2022 Variety’s New York digital editor Todd Spangler will moderate the virtual conversation. William Earl, Variety, 22 Nov. 2022 Sybil Wilkes from The Tom Joyner Morning Show & Black America Web, will moderate the panel discussion. Dallas News, 16 Nov. 2022
Noun
Some analysts see these precious metals enjoying moderate-to-outsize gains this year. Q.ai - Powering A Personal Wealth Movement, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 The study looked at the brain scans of 18- to 25-year-old cross-country runners, and a control group of adults of the same age who hadn’t engaged in sustained moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for over a year. Micah Ling, Outside Online, 17 Jan. 2023 Britain's Conservative Party chose former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss — a fiscal moderate and a low-tax crusader — as the two finalists in an election to replace departing Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Jill Lawless, USA TODAY, 20 July 2022 Jones, 46, a physician who served as a Navy surgeon in Iraq, campaigned as a Democratic moderate. Melanie Mason, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2022 Nickel—a criminal defense attorney, former staffer in President Barack Obama’s White House, and member of the North Carolina state Senate—ran as an experienced moderate. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 9 Nov. 2022 The company recently finished testing the drug in an intermediate stage clinical trial for moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Ryan Cross, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Dec. 2022 Murkowski's impeachment vote and criticism of Trump were among the reasons state Republican Party leaders cited last year in censuring her, further highlighting the moderate's at-times fraught relationship with her own party. Arkansas Online, 27 Nov. 2022 Golden, a Marine Corps veteran, has long positioned himself as a moderate who supports the 2nd Amendment and works to safeguard industries such as commercial fishing and papermaking. Patrick Whittle, ajc, 18 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'moderate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

Middle English, from Latin moderatus, from past participle of moderare to moderate; akin to Latin modus measure

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1648, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of moderate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near moderate

Cite this Entry

“Moderate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moderate. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

moderate

1 of 3 adjective
mod·​er·​ate ˈmäd-(ə-)rət How to pronounce moderate (audio)
1
a
: avoiding or lacking extremes (as in behavior or temperature)
a moderate eater
moderate climates
b
: calm entry 3 sense 2, reasonable
moderate demands
2
a
: neither very much nor very little : average in size or amount
a moderate rain
b
: neither very good nor very bad
met with only moderate success
3
: opposed to major social change or extreme political ideas
a moderate candidate
4
: not expensive : reasonable or low in price
moderate rates
moderately adverb
moderateness noun

moderate

2 of 3 verb
mod·​er·​ate ˈmäd-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce moderate (audio)
moderated; moderating
1
: to make or become less violent, severe, or intense
2
: to guide a discussion or act as chairperson of a meeting

moderate

3 of 3 noun
mod·​er·​ate ˈmäd-(ə-)rət How to pronounce moderate (audio)
: one who holds moderate views or belongs to a moderate group (as in politics)

Medical Definition

moderate

1 of 2 adjective
mod·​er·​ate ˈmäd-(ə-)rət How to pronounce moderate (audio)
1
: avoiding extremes of behavior : observing reasonable limits
a moderate drinker
2
: not severe in effect or degree
moderate alcohol consumption
the abdomen was mildly distended with moderate tendernessTimothy Melester et al.
moderate developmental disabilities

moderate

2 of 2 transitive verb
mod·​er·​ate ˈmäd-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce moderate (audio)
moderated; moderating
: to reduce the speed or energy of (neutrons)
moderation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on moderate

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