Word of the Day

Friday, July 07, 2000


\PAL-ee-ayt\ , transitive verb;
To make (an offense or crime) seem less serious; extenuate.
To make less severe or intense; mitigate.
To relieve the symptoms of a disease or disorder.
I had held a hope that she would take my class, that I would have the chance not only to cope with but to help palliate her pain.
-- Steven Polansky, "Pantalone", Harper's Magazine, February 1997
He was widely praised in both East and West as a humanitarian seeking to palliate the excesses of a cruel regime.
-- Joseph Finder, "The Trade in Spies: Not All Black or White", New York Times, June 22, 1993
The response to industrial decline was to cling even more to the British state, which had the resources to palliate its effects, and ease a transformation to a new economy -- or, indeed, as many hoped, to prop up the declining industries.
-- Allan Massie, "Scotland not so brave in push for home rule", Irish Times, September 4, 1997
Palliate derives from Late Latin palliatus, past participle of palliare, "to cloak, to conceal," from Latin pallium, "cloak."
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