When you palliate something, you try to make something less bad: “City leaders tried to palliate effects of the trash haulers' strike by distributing extra large garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.”

Palliate is the word to use when you want to make something feel or seem better. Palliate doesn’t mean “cure” or “solve.” Instead, something that palliates relieves the symptoms or consequences of something, without addressing the underlying cause. Your dentist might give you pain-killing drugs to palliate the discomfort caused by an impacted molar, but that molar is still there, waiting to cause more trouble.

Definitions of palliate
  1. verb
    lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
    synonyms: extenuate, mitigate
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    type of:
    apologise, apologize, excuse, justify, rationalise, rationalize
    defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning
  2. verb
    provide physical relief, as from pain
    synonyms: alleviate, assuage, relieve
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    cause to feel better
    comfort, ease
    lessen pain or discomfort; alleviate
    type of:
    ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
    to make better
Word Family

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