moderate

adjective
mod·​er·​ate | \ˈmä-d(ə-)rət \

Definition of moderate 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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.

2a : 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 life— Carl 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

moderate

verb
mod·​er·​ate | \ˈmä-də-ˌrāt \
moderated; moderating

Definition of moderate (Entry 2 of 3)

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

moderate

noun
mod·​er·​ate | \ˈmä-d(ə-)rət \

Definition of moderate (Entry 3 of 3)

: one who holds moderate views or who belongs to a group favoring a moderate course or program

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from moderate

Adjective

moderately adverb
moderateness noun

Verb

moderation \ˌmä-​də-​ˈrā-​shən \ noun

Examples of moderate in a Sentence

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

His take-no-prisoners approach troubled many Republicans seeking to appeal to moderate voters in suburban House districts, but Trump prioritized base voters in the deep-red states that could determine the fate of the Senate. Catherine Lucey, The Seattle Times, "Despite House loss, Trump still sees midterms success," 7 Nov. 2018 That risk wasn’t lost on Spiegelhalter, who went on to say: Given the pleasure presumably associated with moderate drinking, claiming there is no ‘safe’ level does not seem an argument for abstention. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "There’s no risk-free amount of alcohol, population-level study finds," 27 Aug. 2018 Three moderate Democrats – Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia – joined with Republicans to support Wheeler in April. Matthew Daly, The Christian Science Monitor, "Andrew Wheeler to head EPA after Pruitt resignation," 6 July 2018 More importantly, is abolishing ICE a serious idea, or is it, as right-wing pundits insist, a knee-jerk anti-cop reaction to the immigration debate that will alienate moderate voters and lead to a political bloodbath for the ever-hapless Democrats. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "Why they risked everything to Occupy ICE | Will Bunch," 5 July 2018 Democrats and centrist Republicans from swing districts say the GOP could suffer because the party, steered by Trump's anti-immigrant harangues, could be alienating pivotal moderate voters. Alan Fram And Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, "Far-reaching Republican immigration bill careening toward likely House rejection," 27 June 2018 Democrats and centrist Republicans from swing districts say the GOP could suffer because the party, steered by Trump’s anti-immigrant harangues, could be alienating pivotal moderate voters. Alan Fram And Lisa Mascaro, BostonGlobe.com, "House rejects Republican immigration bill, ignoring Trump," 27 June 2018 Comstock has won two terms representing Loudoun County and parts of Prince William and Fairfax counties as well as rural counties of Clarke and Frederick to the west by appealing to moderate voters without turning off her conservative base. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, "How Trump is affecting Rep. Comstock’s re-election bid," 26 June 2018 First, moderate Democrats need better arguments to explain why the all-government solutions preached by Mr Sanders are not merely unaffordable but bad. The Economist, "Democrats have plenty of anger, but few good ideas," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fans learned this exciting news during the Riverdale panel at New York Comic Con on October 7 (moderated by Teen Vogue's very own Ella Cerón). De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Gina Gershon and Trinity Likins to Join "Riverdale" Season 3," 7 Oct. 2018 Comic-Con International—moderated by Notaro herself—Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman promoted Star Trek: Short Treks. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 trailer will resonate with TOS fans," 24 July 2018 The hour-long debate, which took place at the Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown, was moderated by Fox News’ Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "West Virginia GOP Senate candidates spar over credentials, support for Trump in Fox News debate," 2 Oct. 2018 Facebook uses a mix of human work and technological efforts to moderate its content. Eli Rosenberg, latimes.com, "Facebook censored a post for ‘hate speech.’ It was the Declaration of Independence," 6 July 2018 Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made a last-ditch effort to moderate Iran's response to Trump's pullout, promising to commit to the agreement for the time being. Frederik Pleitgen, CNN, "In Iran, hardliners are burning the deal and the American flag," 9 May 2018 Next season, the Pistons have a variety of salaries, from big money (Griffin’s $32 million) to moderate money (Leuer $10 million) to small money (Kennard’s $3.3 million). Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons mailbag: Rookie Luke Kennard earned more playing time," 23 Apr. 2018 Hearing on Filtering Separately, the House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing Thursday on the metrics that social media platforms use to moderate content, how filtering decisions are made, and whether viewpoints have been silenced. Bloomberg.com, "Senators Press Google and Twitter for Answers on Privacy," 20 Apr. 2018 While the main building suffered significant fire and smoke damage, the building next door only had light to moderate damage. Hanna Krueger, NOLA.com, "2-alarm fire burns duplex in Hoffman Triangle," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Opposing the moderates are Mr. Lighthizer and national security officials, including national security adviser John Bolton, and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "U.S., China Explore Deal as Leaders Meet at G-20 Summit," 29 Nov. 2018 Here’s what the go-for-broke strategy might look like Climate hawks who favor bipartisan cooperation have fewer and fewer Republicans to talk to, as the last remaining moderates are picked off. David Roberts, Vox, "After the midterms, US climate politics are even more polarized. Here’s how Dems can move forward.," 12 Nov. 2018 On the other are GOP moderates, often representing districts with many constituents who are Hispanic, moderate suburbanites or are tied to the agriculture industry, which relies heavily on migrant workers. CBS News, "Is immigration a land mine for GOP ahead of midterms?," 19 May 2018 His two main challengers are political moderates, but their rivalry is no less bitter for that. The Economist, "How AMLO could win Mexico’s election," 28 Mar. 2018 On one side are moderates who were instrumental in building support for the legislation. Elizabeth Dexheimer, Bloomberg.com, "Senate Takes First Step to Pass Bill Overhauling Dodd-Frank," 6 Mar. 2018 There are also fears of an insurrection within the Democratic Party itself, in which there’s previously been a chasm between Senate red-state moderates and the rest of the caucus. Li Zhou, Vox, "Schumer faces the most important Supreme Court fight for Democrats in a generation," 6 July 2018 Among Republicans, moderates and liberals were more likely than conservatives to say Mueller’s investigation was important. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Anti-Trump Right Has Become Trump’s Base," 3 July 2018 The delayed vote was on a compromise bill between GOP moderates and conservatives that would offer Dreamers a pathway to citizenship and provide $25 billion for Mr. Trump's border wall, among other things. CBS News, "Confusion at the border after Trump's executive order," 22 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of moderate

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

History and Etymology for moderate

Adjective

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

Verb

see moderate entry 1

Noun

see moderate entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about moderate

Statistics for moderate

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for moderate

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for moderate

moderate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of moderate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: average in size or amount : neither too much nor too little

: neither very good nor very bad

: not expensive : not too high in price

moderate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of moderate (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (something) less harsh, strong, or severe or to become less harsh, strong, or severe

: to guide a discussion or direct a meeting that involves a group of people

moderate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of moderate (Entry 3 of 3)

: a person whose political ideas are not extreme : a person who has moderate opinions or is a member of a moderate political group

moderate

adjective
mod·​er·​ate | \ˈmä-də-rət \

Kids Definition of moderate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : neither too much nor too little moderate heat

2 : neither very good nor very bad moderate success

3 : not expensive : reasonable moderate rates

4 : not extreme or excessive a moderate point of view a moderate eater

Other Words from moderate

moderately adverb

moderate

verb
mod·​er·​ate | \ˈmä-də-ˌrāt \
moderated; moderating

Kids Definition of moderate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become less extreme or severe

moderate

adjective
mod·​er·​ate | \ˈmäd-(ə-)rət \

Medical Definition of moderate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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 tenderness— Timothy Melester et al moderate developmental disabilities

moderate

transitive verb
mod·​er·​ate | \ˈmäd-ə-ˌrāt \
moderated; moderating

Medical Definition of moderate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to reduce the speed or energy of (neutrons)

Other Words from moderate

moderation \ˌmäd-​ə-​ˈrā-​shən \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on moderate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with moderate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for moderate

Spanish Central: Translation of moderate

Nglish: Translation of moderate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of moderate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on moderate

What made you want to look up moderate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!