AskDefine | Define palliate

Dictionary Definition



1 lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of; "The circumstances extenuate the crime" [syn: extenuate, mitigate]
2 provide physical relief, as from pain; "This pill will relieve your headaches" [syn: relieve, alleviate, assuage]

User Contributed Dictionary



From palliare "to cover with a cloak", from pallium "cloak"



  1. To lessen the severity of; to extenuate.
  2. To cause to seem less serious.
  3. To relieve the symptoms of; to ameliorate.
  4. To cover by excuses and apologies.


  • Paternoster, Lewis M. and Frager-Stone, Ruth. Three Dimensions of Vocabulary Growth. Second Edition. Amsco School Publications: USA. 1998.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abate, adjust to, allay, alleviate, allow for, alter, anesthetize, appease, assuage, attemper, bank the fire, benumb, blunt, box in, camouflage, chasten, circumscribe, cloak, color, conceal, condition, condone, constrain, control, cushion, damp, dampen, de-emphasize, deaden, deaden the pain, diminish, disguise, dissemble, downplay, dull, ease, ease matters, excuse, extenuate, foment, give relief, gloss over, hedge, hedge about, hush up, ignore, keep within bounds, lay, leaven, lenify, lessen, lighten, limit, lull, make allowance for, mask, mince, mitigate, moderate, modify, modulate, mollify, narrow, numb, obtund, pad, play down, poultice, pour balm into, pour oil on, prettify, qualify, reduce, reduce the temperature, regulate by, relieve, restrain, restrict, salve, season, set conditions, set limits, slacken, slake, slow down, slur over, smother, sober, sober down, soft-pedal, soften, soothe, stifle, stupe, subdue, sugarcoat, suppress, tame, temper, tone down, tune down, underplay, varnish, veneer, weaken, white, whiten, whitewash
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