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ameliorate

[uh-meel-yuh-reyt, uh-mee-lee-uh-]
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verb (used with or without object), a·mel·io·rat·ed, a·mel·io·rat·ing.
  1. to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve: strategies to ameliorate negative effects on the environment.
Also meliorate.

Origin of ameliorate

First recorded in 1760–70; a-5 + meliorate
Related formsa·mel·io·ra·ble, adjectivea·mel·io·ra·ble·ness, nouna·mel·io·rant, nouna·mel·io·ra·tive, a·mel·io·ra·to·ry [uh-meel-yer-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, uh-mee-lee-uh-] /əˈmil yər əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, əˈmi li ə-/, adjectivea·mel·io·ra·tor, nounun·a·mel·io·ra·ble, adjectiveun·a·mel·io·rat·ed, adjectiveun·a·mel·io·ra·tive, adjective
Can be confusedameliorate obviate vitiate

Synonyms

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amend, better. See improve.

Antonyms

worsen.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for ameliorable

ameliorate

verb
  1. to make or become better; improve
Derived Formsameliorable (əˈmiːljərəbəl), adjectiveameliorant, nounameliorative, adjectiveameliorator, noun

Word Origin

C18: from meliorate, influenced by French améliorer to improve, from Old French ameillorer to make better, from meillor better, from Latin melior

usage

Ameliorate is often wrongly used where alleviate is meant. Ameliorate is properly used to mean `improve', not `make easier to bear', so one should talk about alleviating pain or hardship, not ameliorating it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ameliorable

ameliorate

v.

1728, perhaps a back-formation from amelioration on pattern of French améliorer. The simpler form meliorate was used in Middle English. Related: Ameliorated; ameliorating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper