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'

"How many kids and how many people are on puffers to ameliorate the effects of asthma and respiratory problems?
CBC (2004)
Branagh doesn't seek to ameliorate the character or ingratiate himself with inevitably liberal audiences.
Spiked (2003)
Hence what exists is natural, and nothing can be done to ameliorate the situation.
Henry, John F The Making of Neoclassical Economics
In the English legal system, equity developed in parallel with the common law to ameliorate the harsh inflexibility of the latter.
Glasgow Herald (2002)
She had lit a host of candles around her, as though their light might ameliorate the cruelty of the hour.
Clive Barker SACRAMENT (2001)
There will be attempts to ameliorate the words and the action.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
We know the risks, we try to ameliorate them as much as we can, but none the less the risk is there.
New Zealand Herald (2003)


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