[ mit-i-geyt ]
/ ˈmɪt ɪˌgeɪt /
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See synonyms for: mitigate / mitigated / mitigating / mitigation on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), mit·i·gat·ed, mit·i·gat·ing.

to lessen in force or intensity, as wrath, grief, harshness, or pain; moderate.
to make less severe: to mitigate a punishment.
to make (a person, one's state of mind, disposition, etc.) milder or more gentle; mollify; appease.

verb (used without object), mit·i·gat·ed, mit·i·gat·ing.

to become milder; lessen in severity.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

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
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.
militate, mitigate (see confusables note at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for mitigate

/ (ˈmɪtɪˌɡeɪt) /


to make or become less severe or harsh; moderate
mitigable (ˈmɪtɪɡəbəl), adjectivemitigation, nounmitigative or mitigatory, adjectivemitigator, noun
C15: from Latin mītigāre, from mītis mild + agere to make
Mitigate is sometimes wrongly used where militate is meant: his behaviour militates (not mitigates) against his chances of promotion
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

Medical definitions for mitigate

[ mĭtĭ-gāt′ ]


To moderate in force or intensity.
mit′i•gation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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