The Meaning of Alleviate: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of alleviate? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word alleviate, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word alleviate mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word alleviate is a verb that means to quell sorrow, suffering, discomfort or pain. Alleviate is four syllables – al-le-vi-ate, and the pronunciation of alleviate is . Different suffixes like ing and ed can be added to the end of alleviate to form related verb forms like the present participle or past participle. 

Alleviate can refer to physical relief, like physicians providing a pill for headaches to relieve the pain of the inflammation, or it can be used in a figurative sense to mean to relieve the magnitude or heinousness of mental troubles or moral conduct, leading to prosperity. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean alleviate. You may find that some of these words look and sound similar to each other. This is likely because they are of a similar origin. Usually, cognates are formed when two words have a common ancestor such as Latin or Greek. Cognates are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages. This list of translations of alleviate is provided by Word Sense but related words could also be found in a German dictionary 5th edition, Spanish dictionary 12th edition or French electronic resource unabridged 8th edition.‎

  •  Greek: ανακουφίζω‎
  •  Romanian: ușura‎, alina‎, calma‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: aotromaich‎
  •  Khmer: កាត់បន្ថយ‎ (kat bɑntʰɑɑy), សម្រាល‎ (sɑmraal)
  •  Bulgarian: облекчавам‎, смекчавам‎
  •  Swedish: lindra‎, mildra‎, avhjälpa‎
  •  Esperanto: mildigi‎, moderigi‎
  •  Russian: облегча́ть‎, смягча́ть‎, уменьша́ть‎, снима́ть‎
  •  Dutch: milderen‎, temperen‎, verlichten‎, verzachten‎
  •  Turkish: azaltmak‎, dindirmek‎, hafifletmek‎ (law)
  •  Catalan: mitigar‎, pal·liar‎
  •  Portuguese: aliviar‎
  •  Finnish: helpottaa‎, lievittää‎
  •  Spanish: aliviar‎, mitigar‎, paliar‎
  •  Faroese: lætta‎, linna‎
  •  French: adoucir‎, calmer‎, soulager‎
  •  Slovene: ublažiti‎, omiliti‎, olajšati‎
  •  Arabic: خَفَّفَ‎, لَطَّفَ‎, سَكَّنَ‎
  •  German: mildern‎, lindern‎
  •  Hungarian: enyhít‎, csillapít‎
  •  Armenian: մեղմել‎, մեղմացնել‎
  •  Estonian: kergendama‎, leevendama‎

See if you can figure out what languages the following words are in: ulevit erleichtern lindre ublažiti csillapítn يُسَكِّن облекчавам aliviar zmírnit verminder يُخَفِّف melegakan verlichten lindre enyhít meredakan mengurangi lina palengvinti atvieglot alina облегчать uľahčiť mildne uśmierzać lajšati ublažiti lätta ant lindra ทำให้บรรเทา hafifletmek 痛苦等 draga úr alleviare 緩和する 완화하다 numalšinti mildne ανακουφίζω aliviar leevendama تسکین دادن lievittää soulager לְהָקֵל dindirmek 減輕 lette tor n utišit remdēt zmierniť ublažiti csillapít.

What is the origin of the word alleviate?

According to Etymonline, the word alleviate has been used since early c15 Late Middle English alleviaten and is a derivation from the Late Latin alleviatus/Late Latin alleviātus, Late Latin alleviāre/past participle of alleviāre/Latin alleviare, alleviāt, Latin ad and Latin levis light. These words are from Indo-European roots legwh.

How can the word alleviate be used in a sentence?

The word alleviate can be used in many different sentences in natural sounding English. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definition. You can also try to make flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test your knowledge of definitions. Learning new words is a great way to make yourself sound smarter and to improve your vocabulary. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today. Below are several examples of alleviate.

The woman tries to alleviate the burden of grief of the kids who lost their parents. The sufferings of her brother informed her to the public health and homeless crisis for orphan children and she hoped to be part of the solution with her rigid penance.

The San Diego therapist Kessler hoped to alleviate mental health problems along with other mental-health professionals. She was one of many grief experts against digital harms. 

Alcohol was used as a cheap tool to alleviate the stress of a hard day for the Princeton University students.

None of these alleged fixes from the human resources executives alleviated the vast reserves of medical bills.

What are synonyms and antonyms of alleviate?

There are many different words that are equivalent to the word alleviate (vb.). Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same or a similar definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a useful English language tool because they can help you to avoid repeating the same word over and over again while simultaneously expanding your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word alleviate is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  quell
  •  still
  •  unburden
  •  pour oil on
  •  slacken
  •  make better
  •  allaying
  •  quieten
  •  control
  •  cushion
  •  salving
  •  comfort
  •  conciliate
  •  damp
  •  mince
  •  lessen
  •  calm down
  •  assuage
  •  pacify
  •  diminish
  •  blunt
  •  chill out
  •  defusing
  •  compose
  •  helping
  •  allay
  •  softened
  •  relief
  •  soothes
  •  tone down
  •  take the edge off
  •  kill
  •  numb
  •  salve
  •  eased
  •  relieving
  •  deaden
  •  mollify
  •  dispel
  •  lay
  •  soothed
  •  ameliorate
  •  suppress
  •  palliate
  •  tranquilize
  •  attenuate
  •  restrain
  •  defuse
  •  disencumber
  •  mitigate
  •  soothing
  •  lower
  •  lighten
  •  appease
  •  soften
  •  facilitate
  •  abate
  •  extenuate
  •  soothe
  •  healing
  •  softening
  •  help
  •  relieve
  •  ease
  •  facilitated
  •  remedy
  •  weaken
  •  mitigated
  •  dampen
  •  moderate
  •  aid
  •  easing
  •  relax
  •  placate
  •  commute
  •  improve
  •  mitigating
  •  make lighter
  •  decrease
  •  hush
  •  address
  •  heal
  •  stifle
  •  make less
  •  palliating
  •  relieved
  •  mitigation
  •  lull
  •  solace
  •  quiet
  •  sweeten
  •  subdue
  •  cure
  •  dull
  •  curb
  •  minimize
  •  reduce
  •  temper
  •  cool
  •  calm

There are also a number of words that mean the opposite of the word alleviate. These opposite words are known as antonyms, which are words and phrases that have the opposite definitions as another word or phrase. Antonyms are also a useful tool to expand a person’s vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word alleviate is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  throw gas on the fire
  •  abound
  •  pour gas on the fire
  •  punishment
  •  allow
  •  deepen
  •  increase
  •  discomfort
  •  agitate
  •  anger
  •  amplify
  •  cause stress
  •  arouse
  •  exacerbate
  •  injure
  •  be fierce
  •  aggravate
  •  be infuriated
  •  lose one’s temper
  •  worsen
  •  afflict
  •  see red
  •  have a cow
  •  throw gasoline on the fire
  •  go off the deep end
  •  add fuel to the flames
  •  add insult to injury
  •  aggro
  •  irritate
  •  accuse
  •  be incensed
  •  bar
  •  intensify
  •  be breathing fire
  •  panick
  •  bully
  •  pour gasoline on the fire
  •  heighten
  •  go mad
  •  be at the end of your rope
  •  balk
  •  add fuel to the fire
  •  go crazy
  •  add to
  •  be furious
  •  add to the problem
  •  magnify
  •  become angry suddenly
  •  hit the roof
  •  apply pressure
  •  decrease

Overall, the word alleviate means to relief or help. Alleviate is a verb.


  1. Alleviate synonyms – 1 338 Words and Phrases for Alleviate | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Alleviate antonyms – 469 Opposites of Alleviate | Power Thesaurus 
  3. alleviate: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  4. alleviate | Origin and meaning of alleviate | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Alleviate definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary