verb (used with object)
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.
1375–1425; late Middle English mitigaten
< Latin mītigātus
(past participle of mītigāre
to calm, soften, soothe), equivalent to mīt
) mild, soft, gentle + -ig-
(combining form of agere
to do, cause to do, make) + -ātus -ate1
mitigable [mit-i-guh-buh l] /ˈmɪt ɪ gə bəl/ Show IPA, adjectivemitigatedly, adverbmitigation, nounmitigative, mitigatory [mit-i-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈmɪt ɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ Show IPA, adjectivemitigator, nounnonmitigative, adjectivenonmitigatory, adjectiveovermitigate, verb, overmitigated, overmitigating.unmitigable, adjectiveunmitigative, adjective
Can be confused
(see usage note at the current entry)
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
) 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.