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

  • adjective Tending or serving to palliate.
  • adjective Alleviating the symptoms of a disease or disorder, especially one that is terminal, when a cure is not available.
  • noun One that palliates, especially a palliative drug or medicine.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Palliating; extenuating; serving to extenuate by excuses or favorable representation.
  • Mitigating or alleviating, as pain or disease.
  • noun That which extenuates: as, a palliative of guilt.
  • noun That which mitigates, alleviates, or abates, as the violence of pain, disease, or other evil.

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

  • adjective Serving to palliate; serving to extenuate, mitigate, or alleviate.
  • noun That which palliates; a palliative agent.

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

  • adjective medicine Minimising the progression of a disease and relieving undesirable symptoms for as long as possible, rather than attempting to cure the (usually incurable) disease.
  • noun medicine Something that palliates, particularly a palliative medicine.

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

  • noun remedy that alleviates pain without curing
  • adjective moderating pain or sorrow by making it easier to bear


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From New Latin *palliativus, from Medieval Latin palliare ("to cloak"), from Latin pallium ("a cloak").


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