What does alleviate mean?
The definition of alleviate
Al*le”vi*ate, v. t.
[imp. & p. p. Alleviated; p. pr. & vb. n.Alleviating.]
Etym: [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.
— 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.