mitigate

[ mit-i-geyt ]
/ ˈmɪt ɪˌgeɪt /

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 forms

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for mitigatory

  • As if she were a part, a mitigatory part of Fate, came Gwendolen to lay the midday meal.

    Kipps|H. G. Wells

British Dictionary definitions for mitigatory

mitigate

/ (ˈmɪtɪˌɡeɪt) /

verb

to make or become less severe or harsh; moderate

Derived Forms

mitigable (ˈmɪtɪɡəbəl), adjectivemitigation, nounmitigative or mitigatory, adjectivemitigator, noun

Word Origin for mitigate

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

usage

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

Medicine definitions for mitigatory

mitigate

[ mĭtĭ-gāt′ ]

v.

To moderate in force or intensity.

Related forms

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