Alleviate Al*le"vi*ate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Alleviated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Alleviating}.] [LL. alleviare, fr. L. ad + levis light. See {Alegge}, {Levity}.] 1. To lighten or lessen the force or weight of. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Should no others join capable to alleviate the expense. --Evelyn. [1913 Webster]

Those large bladders . . . conduce much to the alleviating of the body [of flying birds]. --Ray. [1913 Webster]

2. To lighten or lessen (physical or mental troubles); to mitigate, or make easier to be endured; as, to alleviate sorrow, pain, care, etc.; -- opposed to {aggravate}. [1913 Webster]

The calamity of the want of the sense of hearing is much alleviated by giving the use of letters. --Bp. Horsley. [1913 Webster]

3. To extenuate; to palliate. [R.] [1913 Webster]

He alleviates his fault by an excuse. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To lessen; diminish; soften; mitigate; assuage; abate; relieve; nullify; allay.

Usage: To {Alleviate}, {Mitigate}, {Assuage}, {Allay}. These words have in common the idea of relief from some painful state; and being all figurative, they differ in their application, according to the image under which this idea is presented. Alleviate supposes a load which is lightened or taken off; as, to alleviate one's cares. Mitigate supposes something fierce which is made mild; as, to mitigate one's anguish. Assuage supposes something violent which is quieted; as, to assuage one's sorrow. Allay supposes something previously excited, but now brought down; as, to allay one's suffering or one's thirst. To alleviate the distresses of life; to mitigate the fierceness of passion or the violence of grief; to assuage angry feeling; to allay wounded sensibility. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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