"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[mit-i-geyt] /ˈmɪt ɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), mitigated, mitigating.
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), mitigated, mitigating.
to become milder; lessen in severity.
Origin of mitigate
late Middle English
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
[mit-i-guh-buh l] /ˈmɪt ɪ gə bəl/ (Show IPA),
mitigatedly, adverb
mitigation, noun
mitigative, mitigatory
[mit-i-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈmɪt ɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
mitigator, noun
nonmitigative, adjective
nonmitigatory, adjective
overmitigate, verb, overmitigated, overmitigating.
unmitigable, adjective
unmitigative, adjective
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mitigate
  • You can mitigate risk, but you can't eliminate it.
  • Conservationists successfully sued to mitigate resulting damage to the area's salt marsh.
  • Many schools turn to fundraising to mitigate those shortfalls.
  • Ruling out exorcism or napalm, I wondered if some attitude adjustment might at least mitigate our frustration.
  • There isn't a whole lot that needs to be done to mitigate the threat, but they won't do it.
  • Notes of humor and satire mitigate the disillusion and anguish frequently expressed in his verse .
  • He was found to have inflammation in his right elbow and was prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug to mitigate the soreness.
  • Cities worldwide are promoting environmentally “green” roofs to mitigate several urban problems.
  • He and other researchers are assessing the hazard, which they hope will help governments develop plans to mitigate the danger.
  • The work is part of a two-year project to mitigate the effects of climate change.
British Dictionary definitions for mitigate


to make or become less severe or harsh; moderate
Derived Forms
mitigable (ˈmɪtɪɡəbəl) adjective
mitigation, noun
mitigative, mitigatory, adjective
mitigator, noun
Usage note
Mitigate is sometimes wrongly used where militate is meant: his behaviour militates (not mitigates) against his chances of promotion
Word Origin
C15: from Latin mītigāre, from mītis mild + agere to make
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 mitigate

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
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mitigate in Medicine

mitigate mit·i·gate (mĭt'ĭ-gāt')
v. mit·i·gat·ed, mit·i·gat·ing, mit·i·gates
To moderate in force or intensity.

mit'i·ga'tion n.
mit'i·ga'tive or mit'i·ga·to'ry (-gə-tôr'ē) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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