Definition of mitigate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɪtɪɡeɪt/


[with object]
1Make (something bad) less severe, serious, or painful: drainage schemes have helped to mitigate this problem
More example sentences
  • One is to develop a serious plan for mitigating extreme poverty.
  • We should welcome an opportunity to mitigate the misery of a lingering death of a person who longs to die.
  • It seems to have become accepted that poverty will always exist - the aim of policy is merely to mitigate its worst effects.
alleviate, reduce, diminish, lessen, weaken, lighten, attenuate, take the edge off, allay, ease, assuage, palliate, cushion, damp, deaden, dull, appease, soothe, relieve, help, soften, temper, still, quell, quieten, quiet, tone down, blunt, dilute, moderate, modify, abate, lull, pacify, placate, mollify, sweeten, tranquillize, remit, extenuate, excuse, commute
1.1Lessen the gravity of (an offence or mistake): (as adjective mitigating) he would have faced a prison sentence but for mitigating circumstances
More example sentences
  • Would the fact that the ladies were correcting mistakes count as mitigating circumstances?
  • These are mitigating circumstances for commuting the death sentence.
  • There were mitigating circumstances for the error which I shall not go into here.


The verbs mitigate and militate do not have the same meaning, although the similarity of the forms leads many people to confuse them. Mitigate means ‘make (something bad) less severe’, as in drainage schemes have helped to mitigate this problem, while militate is nearly always used in constructions with against to mean ‘be a powerful factor in preventing’, as in these disagreements will militate against the two communities coming together.



Example sentences
  • Routine infrastructure projects such as highway construction are said to have predictable and mitigable environmental effects.
  • This is mitigable via proper sequencing of restoration projects and the Control Program.
  • All impacts were found to be mitigable to levels of insignificance.




Example sentences
  • The groom is a loss mitigator at a mortgage company.
  • Standing is a partial mitigator and forsaking tasks altogether is another.
  • If I can stick it out it will be a good mitigator of my perfectionism too.


Pronunciation: /ˈmɪtɪɡeɪtəri/
Example sentences
  • If His Honour is rejecting any mitigatory effect of the plea in isolation it would be difficult, in my respectful opinion, to fit it into one or more of those categories in the absence of contrition.
  • Although he is careful to add a mitigatory rider.
  • If one looks at the common law mitigatory factors such as youth, mental illness and things of that nature, they can significantly reduce a sentence.


Late Middle English: from Latin mitigat- 'softened, alleviated', from the verb mitigare, from mitis 'mild'.

Words that rhyme with mitigate


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: miti|gate

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