Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you palliate something.)
When you palliate something, you make it less intense, OR you make it seem less serious.
palliated, palliating, palliation, palliator, palliative (adjective), palliative(s) (noun: something that palliates)
How to use it:
Talk about palliating a risk, a mistake, a bad decision, an offense, or a scandal (making it seem like less of a big deal); palliating a bad emotion, like arrogance, greed, worry, or grief (making that emotion less intense); and so on. As you can see, you always palliate something bad.
You can talk about just palliating something to emphasize that you're not actually fixing it or curing it: "Their promises palliated our fears, but we were still concerned." It might interest you to know that "palliate" comes from the Latin word for "cloaked," which reveals that when you palliate a problem, you're not really solving it; you're just throwing a cloak over it.
"Palliative care" and "palliating a person" in the field of medicine have specific meanings. That's when you know you can't cure the condition, so you just try to reduce suffering.
We can't completely exterminate racism, but there's a lot we can do to palliate its effects.
When we were house shopping, I could barely contain my excitement over the charm of an old Victorian-style home. At least in my mind, all the structural problems it had were easily palliated by its beauty. (No, we didn't buy it.)
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "palliate” means when you can explain it without saying “cloak" or “alleviate."
Think of a major problem or struggle you endured, and fill in the blank: "At the time, _____ seemed to have no solutions and no palliatives."
Example: "At the time, my grief over the death of my childhood pet seemed to have no solutions and no palliatives."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for May is: “What Do These Words Have in Common?”
The three words given will have something specific in common. (More than one right answer might be possible, but I've only got one particular answer in mind for each set of words.) I've arranged the questions from easiest to hardest, so today’s should be fairly difficult. By the end of the month, expect some whoppers.
What do these words have in common?: gourmand, narcissist, bon vivant
Answer: All are words for people who particularly love something: gourmand (someone who loves food), narcissist (someone who really, really loves himself or herself), and bon vivant (someone who loves life and lives it up)
Try this one today: hanged, infarction, proscription
A Point Well Made:
Mark Twain: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
1. The opposites of PALLIATE are
A. DARKEN and MYSTIFY
B. AGITATE and UNCOVER
C. MISUNDERSTAND and TAKE FOR GRANTED
2. It's just not possible to effectively palliate _____.
A. blatantly cruel remarks posted to Twitter
B. a soup that has no flavor whatsoever
C. a handheld tool that has completely broken
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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