[ adjective, noun mod-er-it, mod-rit; verb mod-uh-reyt ]
See synonyms for moderate on
  1. kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme, excessive, or intense: a moderate price.

  2. of medium quantity, extent, or amount: a moderate income.

  1. mediocre or fair: moderate talent.

  2. calm or mild, as of the weather.

  3. of or relating to moderates, as in politics or religion.

  1. a person who is moderate in opinion or opposed to extreme views and actions, especially in politics or religion.

  2. (usually initial capital letter) a member of a political party advocating moderate reform.

verb (used with object),mod·er·at·ed, mod·er·at·ing.
  1. to reduce the excessiveness of; make less violent, severe, intense, or rigorous: to moderate the sharpness of one's words.

  2. to preside over or at (a public forum, meeting, discussion, etc.).

verb (used without object),mod·er·at·ed, mod·er·at·ing.
  1. to become less violent, severe, intense, or rigorous.

  2. to act as moderator; preside.

Origin of moderate

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English moderate (adjective) moderaten (verb), from Latin moderātus (past participle of moderārī “to mitigate, restrain, control”), equivalent to moderā- verb stem (see modest) + -tus past participle suffix

synonym study For moderate

1. Moderate, temperate, judicious, reasonable all stress the avoidance of excess—emotional, physical, intellectual, or otherwise. Moderate implies response or behavior that is by nature not excessive: a moderate drinker, a moderate amount of assistance. Temperate, interchangeable with moderate in some general uses, usually stresses the idea of caution, control, or self-restraint: a surprisingly temperate response to the angry challenge. Judicious emphasizes prudence and the exercise of careful judgment: a judicious balance between freedom and restraint; judicious care to offend neither side. Reasonable suggests the imposition or adoption of limits derived from the application of reason or good sense: a reasonable price; a reasonable amount of damages allotted to each claimant. 8. See allay.

Other words for moderate

Opposites for moderate

Other words from moderate

  • mod·er·ate·ly, adverb
  • mod·er·ate·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use moderate in a sentence

  • This modest order was popular with them because of the moderateness of its cost.

    Saturday's Child | Kathleen Norris
  • The moderateness of Rupert's words, the coolness of his manner, here brought Tanty rapidly down from her pinnacle of passion.

    The Light of Scarthey | Egerton Castle

British Dictionary definitions for moderate


adjective(ˈmɒdərɪt, ˈmɒdrɪt)
  1. not extreme or excessive; within due or reasonable limits: moderate demands

  2. not violent; mild or temperate

  1. of average quality or extent: moderate success

noun(ˈmɒdərɪt, ˈmɒdrɪt)
  1. a person who holds moderate views, esp in politics

  1. to become or cause to become less extreme or violent

  2. (when intr, often foll by over) to preside over a meeting, discussion, etc

  1. British and NZ to act as an external moderator of the overall standards and marks for (some types of educational assessment)

  2. physics to slow down (neutrons), esp by using a moderator

  3. (tr) to monitor (the conversations in an on-line chatroom) for bad language, inappropriate content, etc

Origin of moderate

C14: from Latin moderātus observing moderation, from moderārī to restrain

Derived forms of moderate

  • moderately, adverb
  • moderateness, noun
  • moderatism, noun

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