mitigate

mitigate
militate, mitigate
The two words are sometimes confused (usually mitigate is used for militate) because both meanings are connected with having a reducing effect and their forms and rhythm are close. Mitigate is transitive (i.e. it takes an object) and means ‘to make less intense or severe’, whereas militate is intransitive and (followed by against) means ‘to have a contrary force or effect’. The following examples show the correct use of militate then mitigate, followed by an incorrect use of mitigate for militate:

• The housing styles, narrowness of the streets and the location of the district vis-a-vis the rest of the city all militate against Neustadt becoming an environmentally attractive area overnight —R. Rolley, 1990

• A great yellow sun like a runaway balloon shone from a deep blue sky, and a cooling breeze from the lagoon mitigated the heat —L. Wilkinson, 1992

• ☒ Enforcement by quotas can mitigate against good police work and damage public confidence in the force —Western Mail, 2007.

Mitigate is frequently used in the form mitigating with words such as circumstance, effect, factor, etc.:

• We expect our athletes to compete in the trials unless there are mitigating circumstances, such as injury —Sunday Telegraph, 2007.


Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • mitigate — mit·i·gate / mi tə ˌgāt/ vb gat·ed, gat·ing vt: to lessen or minimize the severity of what actions the State took to mitigate the hazardous conditions Estate of Arrowwood v. State, 894 P.2d 642 (1995) factors that mitigate the crime see also… …   Law dictionary

  • mitigate — UK US /ˈmɪtɪgeɪt/ verb [T] FORMAL ► to make something less harmful, unpleasant, or bad: »technologies that can mitigate global warming mitigate damage/risk »The company was criticized for failing to mitigate risks at the plant. mitigate the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Mitigate — Mit i*gate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Mitigated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Mitigating}.] [L. mitigatus, p. p. of mitigare to soften, mitigate; mitis mild, soft + the root of agere to do, drive.] 1. To make less severe, intense, harsh, rigorous, painful, etc.; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mitigate — ► VERB 1) make less severe, serious, or painful. 2) (mitigating) (of a fact or circumstance) lessening the gravity or culpability of an action. DERIVATIVES mitigation noun. USAGE The words mitigate and militate are often confused …   English terms dictionary

  • mitigate — (v.) early 15c., relieve (pain), from L. mitigatus, pp. of mitigare soften, make tender, ripen, mellow, tame, figuratively, make mild or gentle, pacify, soothe, ultimately from mitis gentle, soft (from PIE *mei mild ) + root of agere do, make,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • mitigate — allay, *relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage Analogous words: temper, *moderate: abate, reduce, lessen, diminish, *decrease: *palliate, extenuate Antonyms: intensify Contrasted words: aggravate, heighten, enhance (see INTENSIFY): * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mitigate — [v] check, diminish, lighten abate, allay, alleviate, appease, assuage, blunt, calm, come together, cool*, dull, ease, extenuate, lessen, meet halfway*, moderate, modify, mollify, pacify, palliate, placate, quiet, reduce, relieve, remit, soften,… …   New thesaurus

  • mitigate — [mit′ə gāt΄] vt., vi. mitigated, mitigating [ME mitigaten < L mitigatus, pp. of mitigare, to make mild, soft, or tender < mitis, soft (see MIGNON) + agere, to drive: see ACT1] 1. to make or become milder, less severe, less rigorous, or less …   English World dictionary

  • mitigate — mitigable /mit i geuh beuhl/, adj. mitigatedly, adv. mitigation, n. mitigative, mitigatory /mit i geuh tawr ee, tohr ee/, adj. mitigator, n. /mit i gayt /, v., mitigated, mitigating. v.t …   Universalium

  • mitigate — v. (pompous) (d; intr.) to mitigate against ( to make difficult ) USAGE NOTE: Many consider the use of mitigate in place of militate to be substandard. * * * [ mɪtɪgeɪt] (pompous) (d; intr.) to mitigate against (USAGE NOTE: Many consider the use… …   Combinatory dictionary

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