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palliative Syllabification: pal·li·a·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈpalēˌādiv/

Definition of palliative in English:


(Of a treatment or medicine) relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with the underlying cause: short-term, palliative measures had been taken
More example sentences
  • The solution should be sought in fast and radical changes to the law on the health insurance system, not in palliative measures like deferment or waiver of debts.
  • I wanted to create an alternative to the numbers, the arguments over ‘who is to blame’ and what palliative measures governments and corporations might be willing to take.
  • Of course, these were only palliative measures.
soothing, alleviating, sedative, calmative;
for the terminally ill


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A palliative remedy, medicine, etc.
Example sentences
  • But we need much more than news about the latest theories and scientific findings on preventive measures, palliatives and cures.
  • There are palliatives, cosmetics like quinine for malaria, which suppress the symptoms for as long as you take them; when you stop taking quinine, the malaria returns at full force.
  • Lanzmann isn't interested in extracting pity from his viewers; for him, history is present, undeniable and bereft of palliatives.
painkiller, analgesic, pain reliever, sedative, tranquilizer, anodyne, calmative, opiate, bromide


Example sentences
  • Radiation therapy is used palliatively to treat symptoms such as pain, obstruction, and bleeding, as well as therapeutically to treat bone métastases and spinal cord compression.
  • With the diagnosis of mucoepidermoid carcinoma, the patient was treated palliatively with external beam radiation therapy including neck in a series of 30 daily fractions as he refused surgery.
  • He was treated palliatively but died from disseminated disease two months later.


Late Middle English (as an adjective): from French palliatif, -ive or medieval Latin palliativus, from the verb palliare 'to cloak' (see palliate).

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