Definition of palliate
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
palliationplay \ˌpa-lē-ˈā-shən\ noun
palliatorplay \ˈpa-lē-ˌā-tər\ noun
palliate was our Word of the Day on 09/04/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
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." Nowadays, "palliate" can be used as a synonym of "gloss" or "whitewash" when someone is attempting to disguise something bad.
Origin and Etymology of palliate
Middle English, from Late Latin palliatus, past participle of palliare to cloak, conceal, from Latin pallium cloak
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
PALLIATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of palliate for English Language Learners
: to make the effects of (something, such as an illness) less painful, harmful, or harsh
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up palliate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).