1 : to reduce the violence of (a disease); also : to ease (symptoms) without curing the underlying disease
2 : to cover by excuses and apologies
3 : to moderate the intensity of
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.
"He had an ability to describe and champion technological innovation and global integration in a rhetoric that palliated fears of change." — Matthew Continetti, Commentary, 16 Nov. 2016
"I have held onto generations of them not just for the headaches I inherited but for bellyaches, cramps, the cold, a cold, the side effects of antimalarial pills, tennis elbow. I've found that a hot-water bottle excels at palliating less-specific aches, ones that don't answer to 'Where does it hurt?'" — Chantel Tattoli, The New York Times Magazine, 19 Jan. 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of palliate: e _ te _ _ _ te.VIEW THE ANSWER
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