A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
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 mitigates
  • Admiration for the quickness of a spoken quip, somewhat mitigates its cruelty.
  • Here again, our site selection mitigates this somewhat.
  • The practice of sharia-based family law both reflects and to an extent mitigates that conservatism.
  • It mitigates any incentive for restructuring and dealing with the causes.
  • The trouble, of course, is that depression mitigates strongly against maintaining healthy habits.
  • Cutting people out of the hiring process might mitigate our biases, but it also mitigates the human touch of hiring.
  • Note that this mitigates the one even semi-plausible claim about the vast benefits of price caps on interchange fees.
  • Of course the mount, which is almost half the cost, is also used for night time astronomy so that mitigates the cost somewhat.
  • It mitigates xenophobia, invites diverse experience and induces an inevitable lack of ease.
  • Unfortunately, human nature mitigates against the unmasking of charlatans by hiring managers.
British Dictionary definitions for mitigates


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 mitigates



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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mitigates 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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