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[uh-meel-yuh-reyt, uh-mee-lee-uh-] /əˈmil yəˌreɪt, əˈmi li ə-/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), ameliorated, ameliorating.
to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve:
strategies to ameliorate negative effects on the environment.
Also, meliorate.
Origin of ameliorate
1760-70; a-5 + meliorate
Related forms
ameliorable, adjective
ameliorableness, noun
ameliorant, noun
ameliorative, amelioratory
[uh-meel-yer-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, uh-mee-lee-uh-] /əˈmil yər əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, əˈmi li ə-/ (Show IPA),
ameliorator, noun
unameliorable, adjective
unameliorated, adjective
unameliorative, adjective
Can be confused
ameliorate, obviate, vitiate.
amend, better. See improve.
worsen. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ameliorator
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for ameliorator


to make or become better; improve
Derived Forms
ameliorable (əˈmiːljərəbəl) adjective
ameliorant, noun
ameliorative, adjective
ameliorator, noun
Usage note
Ameliorate is often wrongly used where alleviate is meant. Ameliorate is properly used to mean `improve', not `make easier to bear', so one should talk about alleviating pain or hardship, not ameliorating it
Word Origin
C18: from meliorate, influenced by French améliorer to improve, from Old French ameillorer to make better, from meillor better, from Latin melior
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
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Word Origin and History for ameliorator



1728, perhaps a back-formation from amelioration on pattern of French améliorer. The simpler form meliorate was used in Middle English. Related: Ameliorated; ameliorating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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