[ mit-i-geyt ]
See synonyms for: mitigatemitigatedmitigatingmitigation on

verb (used with object),mit·i·gat·ed, mit·i·gat·ing.
  1. to lessen in force or intensity, as wrath, grief, harshness, or pain; moderate.

  2. to make less severe: to mitigate a punishment.

  1. to reduce the risk or impact of harmful conditions or events: To mitigate flood damage, new building regulations are being developed.

  2. to make (a person, one's state of mind, disposition, etc.) milder or more gentle; mollify; appease.

  3. Environmental Science. to restore or recreate (a habitat) in order to make up for losses due to development or agriculture: No one has tried anything on this scale before to mitigate the grasslands bird habitat.

verb (used without object),mit·i·gat·ed, mit·i·gat·ing.
  1. to become milder; lessen in severity.

Origin of mitigate

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English mitigaten, from Latin mītigātus (past participle of mītigāre “to calm, soften, soothe”), equivalent to mīt(is) “mild, soft, gentle” + -ig- (combining form of agere “to do, cause to do, make”) + -ātus verb suffix; see -ate1

confusables note For mitigate

Mitigate, whose central meaning is “to lessen” or “to make less severe,” is sometimes confused with militate, which means “to have effect or influence; weigh on.” This mix-up often occurs in the use of the phrase mitigate against, as follows: This criticism in no way mitigates (read militates ) against your going ahead with your research. Although this use of mitigate occasionally occurs in edited writing, it is rare and is widely regarded as an error.

Other words from mitigate

  • mit·i·ga·ble [mit-i-guh-buhl], /ˈmɪt ɪ gə bəl/, adjective
  • mit·i·ga·tion [mit-i-gey-shuhn], /ˌmɪt ɪˈgeɪ ʃən/, noun
  • mit·i·ga·tor, noun
  • o·ver·mit·i·gate, verb, o·ver·mit·i·gat·ed, o·ver·mit·i·gat·ing.
  • un·mit·i·ga·ble, adjective

Words that may be confused with mitigate

  • militate, mitigate (see confusables note at the current entry)

Words Nearby mitigate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mitigate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mitigate


/ (ˈmɪtɪˌɡeɪt) /

  1. to make or become less severe or harsh; moderate

Origin of mitigate

C15: from Latin mītigāre, from mītis mild + agere to make

usage For mitigate

Mitigate is sometimes wrongly used where militate is meant: his behaviour militates (not mitigates) against his chances of promotion

Derived forms of mitigate

  • mitigable (ˈmɪtɪɡəbəl), adjective
  • mitigation, noun
  • mitigative or mitigatory, adjective
  • mitigator, 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