palliate

verb

pal·​li·​ate ˈpa-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce palliate (audio)
palliated; palliating

transitive verb

1
: to reduce the violence of (a disease)
also : to ease (symptoms) without curing the underlying disease
drugs to palliate the pain
2
: to cover by excuses and apologies
tried to palliate his blunder
3
: to moderate the intensity of
trying to palliate the boredom
did nothing to palliate the bitter disputes
palliation noun
palliator noun

Did you know?

Long ago, the ancient Romans had a name for the cloak-like garb that was worn by the Greeks (distinguishing it from their own toga); the name was pallium. In the 15th century, English speakers modified the Late Latin word palliatus, which derives from pallium, to form palliate. Our term, used initially as both an adjective and a verb, never had the literal Latin sense referring to the cloak you wear, but it took on the figurative "cloak" of protection. Specifically, the verb palliate meant (as it still can mean) "to lessen the intensity of a disease." The related adjective palliative describes medical care that focuses on relieving pain or discomfort rather than administering a cure.

Examples of palliate in a Sentence

treatments that can palliate the painful symptoms of the disease don't try to palliate your constant lying by claiming that everybody lies
Recent Examples on the Web By the very nature of their profession, they are given entry into the universal kingdom of the sick, a place where all are united by a desire to palliate suffering. Sushrut Jangi, Foreign Affairs, 7 Dec. 2014 Long hours of sitting masquerade as wellness, insecurity is palliated by snacks, and flexibility’s just another name for no time of your own. Curbed, 4 Jan. 2023 Rhys drank heavily to palliate her burdens, and was known for tirades and other skunky behavior. New York Times, 20 June 2022 The friends are teen-agers, both outcasts of a kind, lonely and looking for ways to palliate their solitude. The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 Those would likely be limited to economic benefits to palliate the loss of crops and revenues for farmers. Emilio Morenatti, ajc, 13 Feb. 2022 In an effort to palliate these advocates, legislators offered a work-around, passing legislation to relax the restrictions on bail funds, allowing them to post higher bails and to bail out people facing Class-A felony charges. Nick Pinto, The New Republic, 6 Apr. 2020 And growing evidence of its propensity to palliate pain and nausea fueled the push for medical marijuana. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, 12 Dec. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'palliate.' 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

Middle English, from Late Latin palliatus, past participle of palliare to cloak, conceal, from Latin pallium cloak

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near palliate

Cite this Entry

“Palliate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/palliate. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

palliate

verb
pal·​li·​ate ˈpal-ē-ˌāt How to pronounce palliate (audio)
palliated; palliating
1
: to make less harmful or harsh
2
: to find excuses for : excuse

Medical Definition

palliate

transitive verb
pal·​li·​ate ˈpal-ē-ˌāt How to pronounce palliate (audio)
palliated; palliating
: to reduce the intensity or severity of (a disease)
also : to ease (symptoms) without curing the underlying disease
palliation noun

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