• synonyms


[uh-meel-yuh-rey-shuhn, uh-mee-lee-uh-]
See more synonyms for amelioration on Thesaurus.com
  1. an act or instance of ameliorating or making better; the state of being ameliorated or made better: the amelioration of working conditions.
  2. something that ameliorates; an improvement.
  3. melioration(def 1).
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Origin of amelioration

First recorded in 1790–1800; ameliorate + -ion


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for amelioration

Historical Examples

  • Of course, there were many impediments to the amelioration of law by this agency.

    Ancient Law

    Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

  • They reveal the cultivation and amelioration of domestic life.

  • The process of things upon this earth has been one of amelioration.

  • And mastery is his, that comes of the amelioration of the land and the education of the tree.

    The Apple-Tree

    L. H. Bailey

  • We would be only too grateful for any amelioration of our legal disabilities.

British Dictionary definitions for amelioration


  1. the act or an instance of ameliorating or the state of being ameliorated
  2. something that ameliorates; an improvement
  3. Also called: elevation linguistics (of the meaning of a word) a change from pejorative to neutral or positively pleasant. The word nice has achieved its modern meaning by amelioration from the earlier sense foolish, silly
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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 amelioration


1650s, from French amélioration, from Old French ameillorer (12c.), from a "to" (see ad-) + meillior (Modern French meìlleur) "to better," from Late Latin meliorare "improve," from Latin melior "better," perhaps originally "stronger," and related to Greek mala "very, very much," from PIE *mel- "strong, great" (see multi-).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper