To ameliorate is to step in and make a bad situation better. You could try introducing a second lollipop to ameliorate a battle between two toddlers over a single lollipop.

The verb ameliorate comes from the Latin word meliorare, meaning “improve.” Food drives can ameliorate hunger. An air conditioner can ameliorate the discomfort of a stiflingly hot summer day. A sympathy card can ameliorate grief. Family therapy can ameliorate severe sibling rivalry. Anything that can lift a burden or make something better can ameliorate.

Definitions of ameliorate

v make better

amend, better, improve, meliorate
better, improve, meliorate
get better
aggravate, exacerbate, exasperate, worsen
make worse
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alleviate, assuage, palliate, relieve
provide physical relief, as from pain
aid, help
improve the condition of
regenerate, revitalize
restore strength
make better or improve in quality
build up, develop
change the use of and make available or usable
turn around
improve dramatically
improve; change for the better
improve what was old or outdated
put into a better state
make improvements or corrections to
iron out, put right, straighten out
settle or put right
make better or more attractive
bushel, doctor, fix, furbish up, mend, repair, restore, touch on
restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken
make changes for improvement in order to remove abuse and injustices
improve by alteration or correction of errors or defects and put into a better condition
beautify, embellish, fancify, prettify
make more beautiful
improve the cleansing action of
hone, perfect
refine or make more perfect or effective
down, fine-tune, polish, refine
improve or perfect by pruning or polishing
distill, make pure, purify, sublimate
remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation
make productive or fruitful
lift, raise
invigorate or heighten
develop further
give better travel conditions to
give an education to
groom, neaten
care for one's external appearance
curry, dress, groom
give a neat appearance to
cause to feel better
bring around, cure, heal
provide a cure for, make healthy again
comfort, ease
lessen pain or discomfort; alleviate
change the plans for the use of (land)
fill out, round out
make bigger or better or more complete
optimise, optimize
make optimal; get the most out of; use best
choke, throttle
reduce the air supply
bring into an improved condition
follow up
increase the effectiveness or success of by further action
retouch, touch up
alter so as to produce a more desirable appearance
make younger or more youthful
fiddle, tinker
try to fix or mend
plug with a substance
patch, piece
repair by adding pieces
repair or mend
point, repoint
repair the joints of bricks
trouble-shoot, troubleshoot
solve problems
patch, patch up
mend by putting a patch on
dress up, window-dress
make something appear superficially attractive
slick up, smarten up, spiff up, spruce, spruce up, titivate, tittivate
make neat, smart, or trim
brush up, burnish, polish, polish up, round, round off
bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state
over-refine, overrefine
refine too much or with excess of subtlety
rectify, refine
reduce to a fine, unmixed, or pure state; separate from extraneous matter or cleanse from impurities
rid of impurities
feed, fertilise, fertilize
provide with fertilizers or add nutrients to
resole, sole
put a new sole on
revamp, vamp
provide (a shoe) with a new vamp
heel, reheel
put a new heel on
establish or develop as a residence
polish, shine, smooth, smoothen
make (a surface) shine
repair by sewing
benefit, do good
be beneficial for
socialise, socialize
train for a social environment
groom, prepare, train
educate for a future role or function
co-educate, coeducate
educate persons of both sexes together
educate in or as if in a school
civilise, civilize, cultivate, educate, school, train
teach or refine to be discriminative in taste or judgment
become, suit
enhance the appearance of
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v get better

better, improve, meliorate
amend, better, improve, meliorate
make better
decline, worsen
grow worse
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convalesce, recover, recuperate
get over an illness or shock
get healthy again
reform, see the light, straighten out
change for the better
see one's performance improve
pick up, turn around
improve significantly; go from bad to good
bounce back, get over, get well
improve in health
heal, mend
heal or recover
become productive or fruitful
get better travel conditions
gain vigor, percolate, perk, perk up, pick up
gain or regain energy
snap back
recover quickly
form a scab
skin over
grow new skin over an injury
form granulating tissue
Type of:
change state, turn
undergo a transformation or a change of position or action

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