English Dictionary

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ameliorate (əˈmiːljəˌreɪt Pronunciation for ameliorate



  1. to make or become better; improve
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 Pronunciation for ameliorable  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)


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