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[pal-ee-eyt] /ˈpæl iˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), palliated, palliating.
to relieve or lessen without curing; mitigate; alleviate.
to try to mitigate or conceal the gravity of (an offense) by excuses, apologies, etc.; extenuate.
Origin of palliate
First recorded in 1540-50, palliate is from the Late Latin word palliātus cloaked, covered. See pallium, -ate1
Related forms
palliation, noun
palliator, noun
nonpalliation, noun
unpalliated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for palliate
Historical Examples
  • With such remarks did he try to palliate the effect of his apparent blunders.

    Monsieur Lecoq, v.1 Emile Gaboriau
  • He had been in his cups at the time but that did not palliate the offense.

    The Fighting Shepherdess
    Caroline Lockhart
  • But to palliate the true cause of detaining him, they answered, That they must first acquaint the Governour of India.

  • Nothing, of course, can palliate the extreme baseness of your behaviour.

    Vice Versa F. Anstey
  • He might have been excused if he bore no good-will to one or other of us; but what could palliate his ingratitude to the Rooneys?

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • This expedient to palliate my folly was thought of—but not by me.

    Some Reminiscences Joseph Conrad
  • Without manufactures, without trade, without comfort to palliate such degradation, we were proclaimed converts to Utilitarianism.

  • We have no wish to palliate any act of Calvin's which is manifestly wrong.

  • I might say something to show where you misjudge me—something that might palliate; but no, let it be.

    What Will He Do With It, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • There was even a palpable deficiency in Henrys claim, which no art could palliate.

    King Henry the Fifth William Shakespeare
British Dictionary definitions for palliate


verb (transitive)
to lessen the severity of (pain, disease, etc) without curing or removing; alleviate; mitigate
to cause (an offence) to seem less serious by concealing evidence; extenuate
Derived Forms
palliation, noun
palliator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin palliāre to cover up, from Latin pallium a cloak, pallium
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
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Word Origin and History for palliate

"alleviate without curing," early 15c., from Medieval Latin palliatus, literally "cloaked," from past participle of Late Latin palliare "cover with a cloak, conceal," from Latin pallium "cloak" (see pall (n.)). Related: Palliated; palliating; palliation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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palliate in Medicine

palliate pal·li·ate (pāl'ē-āt')
v. pal·li·at·ed, pal·li·at·ing, pal·li·ates
To reduce the severity of; to relieve somewhat.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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