- to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve: strategies to ameliorate negative effects on the environment.
Origin of ameliorate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
amend, better. See improve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to make or become better; improve
C18: from meliorate, influenced by French améliorer to improve, from Old French ameillorer to make better, from meillor better, from Latin melior
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
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