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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
That stance could alienate more moderate Republicans who disapprove of Trump’s handling of the 2020 election. Jeongyoon Han, NPR, 6 June 2024 The driver of the car died at a hospital while a passenger was being treated for moderate injuries. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2024
Verb
Two firefighters suffered minor to moderate burns on Saturday and were expected to make a full recovery, Silveira said. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 3 June 2024 At the start of the conversation — moderated by DDM software engineer Jason Tseng — Light From Uncommon Stars author Ryka Aoki reflected on what inspired them, first with poetry then their novel, to tell stories that reflected their childhood in Hawaii. Patrick Gomez, EW.com, 1 June 2024
Noun
In fact, most Black and Latino voters identify as moderates, and, as the most recent Harvard Youth Poll showed, the current generation of young men, in particular, are notably less liberal than were their predecessors. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2024 Morris was defeated in the 2012 Republican primary by a conservative challenger, part of a larger effort by then-Gov. Sam Brownback and other conservatives that year to oust moderates. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 7 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for moderate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moderate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Jun. 2024.

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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