Try Our Apps


What does the eggplant emoji really mean?


[uh-meel-yuh-reyt, uh-mee-lee-uh-] /əˈmil yəˌreɪt, əˈmi li ə-/
verb (used with or without object), ameliorated, ameliorating.
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 forms
ameliorable, adjective
ameliorableness, noun
ameliorant, noun
ameliorative, amelioratory
[uh-meel-yer-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, uh-mee-lee-uh-] /əˈmil yər əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, əˈmi li ə-/ (Show IPA),
ameliorator, noun
unameliorable, adjective
unameliorated, adjective
unameliorative, adjective
Can be confused
ameliorate, obviate, vitiate.
amend, better. See improve.
worsen. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ameliorate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Our chief desire is to ameliorate the condition of the malgamite workers.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • He laboured to ameliorate the condition of the native Indians in the American colonies.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • Do you pretend that it is impossible to ameliorate the lot of the people?

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • And why do men go soldiering except to ameliorate existence?

    The Memorabilia Xenophon
  • And the Church never, never raised a finger to ameliorate their condition.

    The Necessity of Atheism Dr. D.M. Brooks
British Dictionary definitions for ameliorate


to make or become better; improve
Derived Forms
ameliorable (əˈmiːljərəbəl) adjective
ameliorant, noun
ameliorative, adjective
ameliorator, noun
Usage note
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
Word Origin
C18: from meliorate, influenced by French améliorer to improve, from Old French ameillorer to make better, from meillor better, from Latin melior
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ameliorate

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for ameliorate

Word Value for ameliorate

Scrabble Words With Friends