Definition of ameliorate in English:



[with object]formal
  • Make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better.

    ‘the reform did much to ameliorate living standards’
    • ‘At least some of these could be ameliorated by improved urban design.’
    • ‘The humour ameliorates the violence in the statement.’
    • ‘Better to march with a powerful friend in the hope of ameliorating the worst of the excesses, rather than leaving him to his own blind devices.’
    • ‘As a father of four boys, some of them rather exuberant, I have carefully chosen elementary schools for my sons where the effects are somewhat ameliorated.’
    • ‘None of these institutes have made any appreciable contribution in ameliorating the harsh conditions and making agriculture an attractive proposition.’
    • ‘Thus, effects of water stress on the plant are partly ameliorated by this improvement in water supply, and partly by the reduction in canopy size and transpiration.’
    • ‘One wonders what such commentators would make of the recently developed notion that local laws should be ameliorated not by local sympathies but by international conventions.’
    • ‘The memo sent out by that task force in the spring addressed this concern and made suggestions for how the school might approach ameliorating the situation amid the current budget crisis.’
    • ‘Government intervention would be better targeted at ameliorating this local dependency rather than artificially prolonging it.’
    • ‘It makes constructive suggestions as to how the laws may be amended to ameliorate some of the adverse impacts on young people.’
    • ‘Another bit of good news is that the campaign has prompted many members of the public to not only join the struggle but also contribute in different ways towards ameliorating the situation of survivors.’
    • ‘Yet, the experts believe that family ties still play a major role in ameliorating the potential social distress caused by unemployment.’
    • ‘Improved social and economic conditions enhance health status and ameliorate problems of addiction.’
    • ‘He drafted it because he believed that the U.N. is the place to resolve such disputes and ameliorate such crises.’
    • ‘There's also evidence that they ameliorate depression and improve various mental functions.’
    • ‘Rather than ameliorating his problems, however, these gadgets multiplied his frustrations exponentially.’
    • ‘All of these have required long term care and treatment, only partially ameliorated by the settlement made by the manufacturer.’
    • ‘The goal is to enact a more equal distribution of wealth and power across the world by democratic means, which maintain the positive impacts of globalisation while ameliorating its negative consequences.’
    • ‘Even the summer sunshine and drop in humidity isn't ameliorating things.’
    • ‘We know nothing of course, but we do not remotely know even this, and mere assertion in no way ameliorates our destitution.’
    make better, better, upgrade, refine, enhance, boost, build on, help, raise, revamp, brush up, polish up, perk up, tweak
    improve, make better, better, make improvements to, enhance, help, benefit, boost, raise, amend, refine, reform
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Mid 18th century: alteration of meliorate, influenced by French améliorer, from meilleur ‘better’.