See more synonyms for mitigate 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.
  3. 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.
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for unmitigable

Historical Examples of unmitigable

  • He presented a curious mixture of easy forgiveness and unmitigable malice.


    Julian Hawthorne

  • Against Mrs. Poyntz, above all others, I bore a remembrance of unrelaxed, unmitigable indignation.

    A Strange Story, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Here is Donatello haunted with strange remorse, and an unmitigable resolve to obtain what he deems justice upon himself.

    The Marble Faun, Volume II.

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • No better process was found, and the disgust of the public with their goods was soon general and unmitigable.

  • She read an unmitigable opposition in his eyes and sadly said, "You'll come here to sleep, won't you?"

British Dictionary definitions for unmitigable


  1. 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 unmitigable



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unmitigable in Medicine


  1. 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.