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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 palliation
Historical Examples
  • He had fought his fight, and gained, and paid the price without a murmur, seeking no palliation.

    Coniston, Complete Winston Churchill
  • But what then can I plead for a palliation to myself of my mother's sufferings on my account?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • What have you to say in palliation of the injury you have done me?

  • What had I to do but to try for a palliation of my confusion, since it served me not?

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Would I dare, she asked me, to offer at a palliation of my baseness?

    Clarissa, Volume 6 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • The prisoner felt that nothing could be said in palliation of this charge.

    A Waif of the Mountains Edward S. Ellis
  • The event was too positive and too flagrant to admit of doubt or palliation.

    Was It Right to Forgive? Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • "She's pretty near all in," he said, in palliation of this action.

    They of the High Trails Hamlin Garland
  • It covered everything; there was not a flicker of hope or palliation.

    Richard Vandermarck Miriam Coles Harris
  • Sometimes remorse is advanced by criminals as a palliation of their crimes.

    Criminal Man Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
British Dictionary definitions for palliation


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 palliation



"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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palliation 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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