mod·​er·​ate | \ ˈmä-d(ə-)rət How to pronounce moderate (audio) \

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


mod·​er·​ate | \ ˈmä-də-ˌrāt How to pronounce moderate (audio) \
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


mod·​er·​ate | \ ˈmä-d(ə-)rət How to pronounce moderate (audio) \

Definition of moderate (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Other Words from moderate


moderateness noun


moderation \ ˌmä-​də-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce moderate (audio) \ 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 Omarova was heavily criticized by Republican senators, some moderate Democrats, and the banking industry for her desire to limit speculative trading by banks and to open the Federal Reserve to retail banking. David Gelles,, 5 Aug. 2022 Republicans blame Democrats’ stimulus efforts from earlier in the pandemic for supercharging the economy, and along with some moderate Democrats, resist more federal spending, including on the White House’s social spending proposals. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, 27 July 2022 Some moderate Democrats in the Assembly opposed the bill and proposed more targeted alternatives to regulate the pet trade, while some animal activists loudly accused Carl Heastie, the chamber’s speaker, of holding up the legislation. New York Times, 24 July 2022 Some moderate Democrats like Reps. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Jared Golden, D-Maine, could vote no. Fox News, 23 July 2022 Many moderate Democrats, including Lamont, and most Republicans, including GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski, oppose increasing state income taxes on wealthy households. Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 30 June 2022 Phillips, a moderate Democrat who currently represents Minnesota's Third Congressional District, is up for re-election this fall. Aubrie Spady, Fox News, 29 July 2022 Business groups in Arizona, a swing state where Ms. Sinema has tried to present herself as a moderate, have also encouraged her to oppose the tax hikes. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, 29 July 2022 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week to maintain your current fitness levels. Kat Eschner, Fortune, 27 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After a court ordered the candidates to organize a debate last week, Hernández agreed to meet only under certain conditions, including control over which journalists would moderate it. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 19 June 2022 But economists disagree about how quickly price increases will moderate. Editors, USA TODAY, 10 June 2022 Bolstering his opinion is a conviction that U.S. inflation has probably peaked, or is about to do so, paving the way for a pullback in price pressures that will eventually allow the Federal Reserve to moderate the pace of monetary tightening. Joanna Ossinger, Fortune, 19 May 2022 Greg Lopez, the face of DGA ads in Colorado, lost the Republican Senate primary to moderate Joe O'Dea, setting up a potentially key race against Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet. Alina Kim, ABC News, 13 July 2022 The weather service in Mobile has a high risk for rip currents in effect until Friday night, when the risk will drop to moderate. Leigh Morgan, al, 13 July 2022 And while the unemployment rate is low, labor force participation has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, suggesting there is still some pandemic slack in the labor market to moderate wage increases. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 2 May 2022 The debate Scully was scheduled to moderate wound up being canceled after Trump objected to holding it virtually because of coronavirus concerns. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 Keep the volume and intensity low to moderate: the mandate is only to move and raise your heart rate above your resting pulse for about 30 minutes. Jonathan Beverly, Outside Online, 14 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, Anchorage Daily News, 20 July 2022 Willow is a priority for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a moderate who is frequently the most likely senator to break with her party and support Democratic appointees and some policy compromises. Arkansas Online, 10 July 2022 The measure is the most recent flashpoint in ongoing clashes between the Assembly’s moderate-to-liberal leaning majority and the conservative Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration and his supporters. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 23 June 2022 The walkers had a 19% boost in functional capacity versus 13% for those doing the HIIT workouts and 12% for those doing the moderate-to-vigorous continuous training. Melanie Radzicki Mcmanus, CNN, 30 June 2022 With a win from Volland, the Assembly’s moderate-to-liberal-leaning majority of eight members increases to nine, lending additional weight to their veto override power. Anchorage Daily News, 23 June 2022 Bradley was a political moderate: a Black councilman in South Los Angeles who had spent more than two decades on the LAPD. Los Angeles Times, 25 May 2022 Cohen was a genuine moderate at a time when there were loads of moderates in both parties, even a sprinkling of actual liberals in the Republican Party. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 3 May 2022 The conservative mayor sought to unseat more incumbents in the Assembly’s moderate-to-liberal-leaning majority, but Anchorage voters rejected three other conservative candidates. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 10 May 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.

First Known Use of moderate


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


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


1648, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for moderate

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

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

Learn More About moderate

Time Traveler for moderate

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near moderate



moderate breeze

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Statistics for moderate

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Moderate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for moderate


mod·​er·​ate | \ ˈmä-də-rət How to pronounce moderate (audio) \

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


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

Kids Definition of moderate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become less extreme or severe


mod·​er·​ate | \ ˈmäd-(ə-)rət How to pronounce moderate (audio) \

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


transitive verb
mod·​er·​ate | \ ˈmäd-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce moderate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce moderate (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on moderate

Nglish: Translation of moderate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of moderate for Arabic Speakers


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