verb (used with object), al·le·vi·at·ed, al·le·vi·at·ing.

to make easier to endure; lessen; mitigate: to alleviate sorrow; to alleviate pain.

Origin of alleviate

1425–75; late Middle English alleviaten < Late Latin alleviātus (past participle of alleviāre), equivalent to al- al- + levi(s) light, not heavy + -ātus -ate1
Related formsun·al·le·vi·at·ed, adjectiveun·al·le·vi·at·ed·ly, adverbun·al·le·vi·at·ing, adjectiveun·al·le·vi·at·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for alleviate

Antonyms for alleviate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alleviating

Contemporary Examples of alleviating

Historical Examples of alleviating

  • My life will be devoted to alleviating the sorrows of the poor and wretched.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

  • She searched for some alleviating suggestion, some happier hope; none came.


    Louisa May Alcott

  • Last night, it is true, there were alleviating circumstances that might have been urged.

  • The Church aimed at alleviating the lot of the slave, not at abolishing slavery.

  • Could this money be more usefully employed than in alleviating these evils?

    Arthur Mervyn

    Charles Brockden Brown

British Dictionary definitions for alleviating



(tr) to make (pain, sorrow, etc) easier to bear; lessen; relieve
Derived Formsalleviation, nounalleviative, adjectivealleviator, noun

Word Origin for alleviate

C15: from Late Latin alleviāre to mitigate, from Latin levis light


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 alleviating



late 15c., from Middle French allevier or directly from Late Latin alleviatus, past participle of alleviare "to lighten," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + levis "light" in weight (see lever). Related: Alleviated; alleviating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper