[mit-i-gey-shuh n]


the act of mitigating, or lessening the force or intensity of something unpleasant, as wrath, pain, grief, or extreme circumstances: Social support is the most important factor in the mitigation of stress among adolescents.
the act of making a condition or consequence less severe: the mitigation of a punishment.
the process of becoming milder, gentler, or less severe.
a mitigating circumstance, event, or consequence.

Related formsnon·mit·i·ga·tion, noun



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.

Origin of mitigate

1375–1425; late Middle English mitigaten < 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 -ate1
Related formsmit·i·ga·ble [mit-i-guh-buh l] /ˈmɪt ɪ gə bəl/, adjectivemit·i·gat·ed·ly, adverbmit·i·ga·tion, nounmit·i·ga·tive, mit·i·ga·to·ry [mit-i-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈmɪt ɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivemit·i·ga·tor, nounnon·mit·i·ga·tive, adjectivenon·mit·i·ga·to·ry, adjectiveo·ver·mit·i·gate, verb, o·ver·mit·i·gat·ed, o·ver·mit·i·gat·ing.un·mit·i·ga·ble, adjectiveun·mit·i·ga·tive, adjective
Can be confusedmilitate mitigate (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

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

Related Words for mitigations

extenuation, remission, reduction, moderation, cure, relief

Examples from the Web for mitigations

Historical Examples of mitigations

  • There yet remains the grateful duty of speaking of the mitigations of our trials.

    Glances at Europe

    Horace Greeley

  • But her mind was far from Bertram and the mitigations he offered.

    Amabel Channice

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • Many alterations and mitigations were proposed, without effect.

  • There are, in short, mitigations of their lot, and possibly excuses for their existence.

    Double Harness

    Anthony Hope

  • Its condemnation does not take the least heed of mitigations.

    The Eddy

    Clarence L. Cullen

British Dictionary definitions for mitigations



to make or become less severe or harsh; moderate
Derived Formsmitigable (ˈmɪtɪɡəbəl), adjectivemitigation, nounmitigative or mitigatory, adjectivemitigator, noun

Word Origin for mitigate

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

Word Origin and History for mitigations



early 15c., "relieve (pain)," from Latin mitigatus, past participle of mitigare "soften, make tender, ripen, mellow, tame," figuratively, "make mild or gentle, pacify, soothe," ultimately from mitis "gentle, soft" (from PIE *mei- "mild") + root of agere "do, make, act" (see act). First element is from PIE root *mei- "soft, mild." Related: Mitigated; mitigating; mitigates.



mid-14c., from Latin mitigationem (nominative mitigatio), noun of action from past participle stem of mitigare (see mitigate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mitigations in Medicine




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