from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Being within reasonable limits; not excessive or extreme.
  • adjective Not violent or subject to extremes; mild or calm; temperate.
  • adjective Of medium or average quantity or extent.
  • adjective Of limited or average quality; mediocre.
  • adjective Opposed to radical or extreme views or measures, especially in politics or religion.
  • noun One who holds or champions moderate views or opinions, especially in politics or religion.
  • intransitive verb To cause to be less extreme, intense, or violent.
  • intransitive verb To preside over.
  • intransitive verb To become less extreme, intense, or violent; abate.
  • intransitive verb To act as a moderator.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Restrained; temperate; keeping within somewhat restricted limits in action or opinion; avoiding extremes or excess; thinking or acting soberly or temperately: as, to be moderate in all things; a moderate drinker.
  • Thinking, speaking, or acting with habitual slowness; very deliberate.
  • Of things, limited in extent, amount, or degree; not extreme, excessive, or remarkable; restricted; medium: as, moderate wealth or poverty; a moderate quantity; moderate opinions or ability; moderate weather or exercise.
  • Synonyms Moderate, Temperate, reasonable, judicious, mild. When used absolutely, moderate, nearly always refers to a person's temper or opinions, whereas temperate similarly used generally refers to a person's habits in respect to bodily indulgence: a moderate man is one who is not extreme in his views or violent in his sentiments; a temperate man, one who is not addicted to over-indulgence either in eating or in drinking.
  • noun One who is moderate in opinion or action; one who is opposed to extreme views or courses, especially in politics or religion.
  • To reduce the amount or intensity of; lessen; reduce; restrain; specifically, to reduce from a large amount or great degree to a medium quantity or intensity: as, to moderate the heat of a room; to moderate one's anger, ardor, or passions.
  • To decide as a moderator; judge.
  • Synonyms To mitigate, abate, appease, pacify, quiet, assuage, soothe, soften.
  • To become less violent, severe, rigorous, or intense: as, the storm begins to moderate.
  • To preside as a moderator, as at a meeting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To restrain from excess of any kind; to reduce from a state of violence, intensity, or excess; to keep within bounds; to make temperate; to lessen; to allay; to repress; to temper; to qualify
  • transitive verb To preside over, direct, or regulate, as a public meeting or a discussion.
  • adjective Limited in quantity; sparing; temperate; frugal.
  • adjective Limited in degree of activity, energy, or excitement; reasonable; calm; slow
  • adjective Not extreme in opinion, in partisanship, and the like.
  • adjective Not violent or rigorous; temperate; mild; gentle.
  • adjective Limited as to degree of progress.
  • adjective Limited as to the degree in which a quality, principle, or faculty appears.
  • adjective Limited in scope or effects.
  • intransitive verb To become less violent, severe, rigorous, or intense.
  • intransitive verb To preside as a moderator.
  • noun (Eccl. Hist.) One of a party in the Church of Scotland in the 18th century, and part of the 19th, professing moderation in matters of church government, in discipline, and in doctrine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Not excessive; acting in moderation
  • adjective Mediocre
  • adjective Average priced; standard-deal
  • adjective US, politics Having an intermediate position between liberal and conservative.
  • noun politics One who holds an intermediate position between the extremes relevant in a political context
  • noun Similar middle-grounder in any other context.
  • verb transitive To reduce the excessiveness of (something)
  • verb intransitive To become less excessive
  • verb transitive To preside over (something) as a moderator
  • verb intransitive To act as a moderator; to assist in bringing to compromise

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective being within reasonable or average limits; not excessive or extreme
  • adjective not extreme
  • verb lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
  • verb make less fast or intense
  • adjective marked by avoidance of extravagance or extremes
  • verb preside over
  • verb make less strong or intense; soften


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English moderat, from Latin moderātus, past participle of moderārī, to moderate; see med- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English moderat, from Latin moderātus, perfect active participle of moderor ("regulate, restrain, moderate"), from moder-, modes-, a stem appearing also in modestus ("moderate, discreet, modest"), from modus ("measure"); see mode and modest.


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