Al·le·vi·ate v. t. [imp. & p. p. Alleviated; p. pr. & vb. n. Alleviating.]
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.
Usage: -- 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.
adj : (of pain or sorrow) made easier to bear [syn: eased, relieved]