English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

ameliorate (əˈmiːljəˌreɪt



  1. to make or become better; improve
USAGE Ameliorate is often wrongly used where alleviate is meant. Ameliorate is properly used to mean 'improve', not 'make easier to bear', so one should talk about alleviating pain or hardship, not ameliorating it

Derived Forms

ameliorable (əˈmiːljərəbəl   adjective
aˈmeliorant  noun
aˈmeliorative  adjective
aˈmelioˌrator  noun

Word Origin

C18: from meliorate, influenced by French améliorer to improve, from Old French ameillorer to make better, from meillor better, from Latin melior

Example Sentences Including 'ameliorate'

She had lit a host of candles around her, as though their light might ameliorate the cruelty of the hour.
Clive Barker SACRAMENT (2001)


Log in to comment on this word.