Definition of palliate
- drugs to palliate the pain
- tried to palliate his blunder
- trying to palliate the boredom
- did nothing to palliate the bitter disputes
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treatments that can palliate the painful symptoms of the disease
don't try to palliate your constant lying by claiming that everybody lies
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'palliate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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." Nowadays, "palliate" can be used as a synonym of "gloss" or "whitewash" when someone is attempting to disguise something bad.
: to make the effects of (something, such as an illness) less painful, harmful, or harsh
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