Definition of palliate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpalɪeɪt/


1 [with object] Make (a disease or its symptoms) less severe without removing the cause: treatment works by palliating symptoms [no object]: pharmaceutical drugs palliate, they do not cure
More example sentences
  • Conversely, the bulk of standard treatments for varicose veins and hemorrhoids are geared toward removing the problem or palliating the disease.
  • Tracheobronchial stents effectively restore airway patency in selected patients with large airway obstruction and palliate symptoms of fistulae in a relatively noninvasive fashion.
  • Where recurrent disease is responsible for blockage of lymphatic collaterals, chemotherapy may be tried to palliate the symptomatology.
2Disguise the seriousness of (an offence): there is no way to excuse or palliate his dirty deed
More example sentences
  • A fire-breathing New York City minister denounced the absence of God in the preamble as ‘an omission which no pretext whatever can palliate.’
  • He was never one to palliate or eulogise, he was never a regulation aesthete.
  • These women were able to palliate ethnic and class differences by integrating recent European immigrants and native-born women into a single community with a coherent spirituality.
excuse, justify, extenuate, minimize, mitigate, make light of, tone down, play down, downplay
2.1Allay or moderate (fears or suspicions): this eliminated, or at least palliated, suspicions aroused by German unity
More example sentences
  • There are those tales too of a somewhat grimmer nature concerning the use of humour to palliate the horrors of war.
  • It implies a change or a course of events that can be reversed, or whose consequences can at least be palliated or relativized.
  • Far from being arbitrary, it seems to me that the Secretary of State has done all that he could be expected to do to palliate the deprivation of liberty of the many applicants for asylum here.



Pronunciation: /palɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • This study suggests that active involvement by caregivers committed to palliation can help alleviate the suffering of children dying from cancer.
  • Antiperspirants can provide useful palliation in patients with moderate hyperhidrosis, but in severe cases they are ineffective.
  • The aggressive end stage management of these patients sharply contrasted with the palliation of terminal cancer patients.


Example sentences
  • Assistance with the use of the Palliator was available if the patients were unable to use it by themselves.
  • The Palliator may be too complex a psychomotor task to be effectively mastered in the immediate postoperative period.


Late Middle English: from late Latin palliat- 'cloaked', from the verb palliare, from pallium 'cloak'.

Words that rhyme with palliate


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pal¦li|ate

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