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

  • transitive v. To make (an offense or crime) seem less serious; extenuate.
  • transitive v. To make less severe or intense; mitigate: tried unsuccessfully to palliate the widespread discontent.
  • transitive v. To relieve the symptoms of a disease or disorder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Covered with a mantle; cloaked; hidden; disguised.
  • adj. Eased; mitigated; alleviated.
  • transitive v. To cover with a mantle or cloak; to cover up; to hide.
  • transitive v. To cover with excuses; to conceal the enormity of, by excuses and apologies; to extenuate.
  • transitive v. To reduce in violence; to lessen or abate; to mitigate; to ease without curing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cover with a cloak; clothe.
  • To hide; conceal.
  • To cover or conceal; excuse or extenuate; soften or tone down by pleading or urging extenuating circumstances, or by favorable representations: as, to palliate faults or a crime.
  • To reduce in violence; mitigate; lessen or abate: as, to palliate a disease.
  • Eased; mitigated.
  • In zoology, having a pallium; of or pertaining to the Palliata; tectibranchiate.

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

  • v. lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
  • v. provide physical relief, as from pain


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

Middle English palliaten, from Late Latin palliāre, palliāt-, to cloak, palliate, from Latin pallium, cloak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin palliatus ("cloaked") (in Late Latin the past participle of palliare ("to cover with a cloak")), from pallium ("cloak").


  • The word palliate comes from the Latin palliare, “to cloak”—and providing pain relief was perceived as cloaking the essence of the illness, smothering symptoms rather than attacking disease.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • Both are exceedingly gifted individuals with enviable human qualities; both were once cherished friends to me; and both, I think, use rage and spite to palliate their unhealed wounds.

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  • With mid-term elections on the horizon and the influence of former president Lula sidetracked by treatment to palliate his larengyal cancer, Brazil's latest political carnival could find William Waack at the front of the parade.

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  • That being said, the monthly paperback column does palliate this a bit.

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  • "It's a hard trail, Liverpool, and only the men that are hard will get through," Charles strove to palliate.


  • He did not disguise it to himself, nor attempt to palliate it.

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  • Better to bring the cyst of Islamofascism/terrorism/whatever to the surface through provocation where it can be lanced, no matter how painful that may be in the short term, than to palliate its symptoms through appeasement while letting it fester beneath the surface (with many things like not-torturing-people being appeasement).

    Matthew Yglesias » Torture and Stick-Beating

  • Second we will be adding a soothing side of a Velcro to a behind side of a shade, as good as third good palliate in a generosity a bit for a shade to fit upon a batten.

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  • This palliate of entrance additionally save our poor backs after a prolonged day upon a vegetable plot.

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  • Because of this he is roughly always full of stress as good as stress, nonetheless he is additionally equates to to censor it simply as good as crop up to be during palliate around figures of authority.

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  • “His arm and ankle seemed more painful than ever; he told himself firmly that it was only because the palliating effects of the drug Crane had given him the night before—and of the potent drinks he had imprudently sampled—had worn off.”

    —Gene Wolfe, The Book of the Long Sun

    August 5, 2009