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.]

Should no others join capable to alleviate the expense. Evelyn.

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

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.

The calamity of the want of the sense of hearing is much alleviated by giving the use of letters. Bp. Horsley.

3.

To extenuate; to palliate.

[R.]

He alleviates his fault by an excuse. Johnson.

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

 

© Webster 1913.

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