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

Do you know the definition of mitigate? This guide will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the word mitigate, including its definition, etymology, usage, synonyms, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word mitigate mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word mitigate is a verb that means to moderate or make less severe or harsh. Many different suffixes and alterations can be added to the end of the word mitigate to make different tenses and parts of speech including ing, ed, ry, tive, ble, tion, and more to form an adjective preposition, present participle, and more,. One can mitigate confusion, offense, wrath, provocation, and more. Mitigate is three syllables – mit-ig-ate, and the pronunciation of mitigate is ˈmɪtɪˌɡeɪt. 

Words meaning mitigate are also used in many other languages. You may notice that some of these words and phrases look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates which are often formed when two words in different languages have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations of mitigate is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Dutch: mitigeren‎, verzachten‎
  •  Czech: zmírnit‎, snížit‎
  •  Polish: złagodzić‎, zminimalizować‎, zmniejszyć‎
  •  Finnish: lieventää‎, helpottaa‎
  •  French: réduire‎, atténuer‎, mitiger‎
  •  Spanish: mitigar‎
  •  Hungarian: csökkent‎
  •  Swedish: lindra‎, mildra‎
  •  Portuguese: mitigar‎
  •  German: mildern‎
  •  Russian: смягчать, уменьшать ( строгость, суровость; наказание); умерять, сдерживать ( жар, пыл); облегчать ( боль, страдание)
  •  Bokmål: lindre‎, formilde‎, avbøte‎
  •  Catalan: mitigar‎
  •  Turkish: azaltmak‎, dindirmek‎, hafifletmek‎, yumuşatmak‎, yatıştırmak‎, tadil etmek‎

What is the origin of the word mitigate?

According to Etymonline, the word mitigate has been used since the early c15 Late Middle English to mean to relieve, make mild or tolerable, or reduce in amount or degree. This comes from the Latin mitigatus/Latin mītigātus, which is the mast participle of mitigare/Latin mītigāre. This comes from mīt and the root of agere and ag in Proto-Indo-European roots. This form of agere and the past participle of mītigāre have cognates in mitis/mītis, the Sanskrit mayas, Lithuanian mielas, Old Irish min, and Welsh mwydion.

How can the word mitigate be used in a sentence?

The word mitigate can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions and incorporate them into your vocabulary. You could also try making a quiz or flashcards to test your knowledge of different definitions. Try using this new word of the day in a sentence today! You never know, it might become a new favorite word. Below are several examples of mitigate being used in English language sentences to help get you started.

They tried to mitigate the dangers to the wildlife after the disaster, but the intensity of the harshness of the fires made it difficult. Their effective method of militation proved effective just in time and the immediate danger was prevented. This component of emergency management was important for climate change mitigation and risk management to reduce harmful incidents and the harmful effects of hazards. 

The doctors attempted to mitigate the symptoms of mental illness through medication, which was an effective method as opposed to the popular-science methods he was trying before. He hated the stigma associated with the medication, but the reduction of its harmful effects was incredible.

The funeral director mitigated the woman’s disposition of grief through a hug. Her vulnerability shifted his state of mind.

The airline company mitigated bird strikes through careful testing. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word mitigate?

There are many different equivalent words that a person can use in place of the word mitigate. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. One might choose to use a synonym because they want to avoid repeating themselves, or because they would like to work  on expanding their vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word mitigate is provided by Power Thesaurus

  • ​​ diminish
  •  ameliorate
  •  qualify
  •  modulate
  •  ease
  •  slack up
  •  potentia
  •  comfort
  •  tempered
  •  soften
  •  soft-pedal
  •  subdue
  •  restrict
  •  quell
  •  salve
  •  help
  •  relieved
  •  extenuate
  •  temper
  •  cushion
  •  shorten
  •  eased
  •  improve
  •  contain
  •  tempering
  •  allay
  •  remit
  •  extenuating
  •  meliorate
  •  quiet
  •  tone down
  •  downplay
  •  curb
  •  moderate
  •  deaden
  •  attenuating
  •  cushioning
  •  alleviating
  •  smooth
  •  relax
  •  pacify
  •  calm
  •  soothe
  •  reduce
  •  relieve
  •  let up on
  •  relief
  •  commute
  •  let up
  •  make less
  •  placate
  •  underplay
  •  take the edge off
  •  compose
  •  attenuate
  •  appease
  •  excuse
  •  control
  •  kiss and make up
  •  numb
  •  modify
  •  weaken
  •  softening
  •  stop
  •  still
  •  limit
  •  sweetening
  •  mollify
  •  narrow
  •  alleviate
  •  lessen
  •  alleviated
  •  relieving
  •  sweeten
  •  abate
  •  dull
  •  lower
  •  minimize
  •  defuse
  •  heal
  •  easing
  •  assuage
  •  play down
  •  slacken
  •  cushioned
  •  mitigating
  •  water down
  •  solace
  •  remedy
  •  damp
  •  circumscribe
  •  decrease
  •  blunt
  •  better
  •  belittle
  •  pour oil on
  •  cool out
  •  dampen
  •  dilute
  •  lighten
  •  palliate

There are also a great many words that mean the opposite of the word mitigate. These are called antonyms. English language antonyms are also very useful grammatical devices to know. This list of antonyms for the word mitigate is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  • disapprove
  • augment
  • develop
  • heighten
  • add to the problem
  • be in rage
  • have a cow
  • be infuriated
  • condemn
  • blow one’s cool
  • be very angry
  • blame
  • check
  • add insult to injury
  • conceal
  • be in deep water
  • allow
  • discompose
  • blow your lid
  • accuse of
  • extend
  • consider guilty of
  • deepen
  • attack for
  • anathematize
  • criticize for
  • be enraged
  • blight
  • counteract
  • aggro
  • be furious
  • afflict
  • deplore for
  • blow one’s lid
  • blow one’s top
  • destroy
  • decry
  • exacerbate
  • enhance
  • worsen
  • butchers
  • depress
  • discipline
  • burn slightly
  • pour gasoline on the fire
  • deprecate
  • chastise
  • condemn for
  • intensify
  • assign liability
  • i dare you
  • bring someone to book
  • be pissed off
  • block
  • bar
  • abound
  • aggravate
  • come down on like a ton of bricks
  • pour gas on the fire
  • chasten
  • accuse
  • incite
  • be in a huff
  • add fuel to the fire
  • be visibly very angry
  • throw gasoline on the fire
  • irritate
  • denounce for
  • amplify
  • be angry
  • decrease
  • balk
  • berate
  • damage
  • magnify
  • arraign
  • add fuel to the flames
  • throw gas on the fire
  • agitate
  • come down on
  • blast
  • enlarge
  • apply pressure
  • aggrandize
  • blow your top
  • assign guilt to
  • annoy
  • blow a gasket
  • censure for
  • come to naught
  • become angry suddenly
  • cause stress
  • lose one’s temper
  • cane
  • maximize
  • delay
  • assign fault to
  • increase
  • add to
  • castigate

Overall, the word mitigate means to ameliorate or reduce harmful effects. This word is Latin in origin.


  1. Mitigate definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  2. mitigate: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense  
  3. Mitigate synonyms – 1 526 Words and Phrases for Mitigate | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Mitigate antonyms – 636 Opposites of Mitigate | Power Thesaurus 
  5. mitigate | Origin and meaning of mitigate | Online Etymology Dictionary