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mit·i·gate / ˈmitəˌgāt/ • v. [tr.] make less severe, serious, or painful: he wanted to mitigate misery in the world. ∎  lessen the gravity of (an offense or mistake): [as adj.] (mitigating) he would have faced a prison sentence but for mitigating circumstances. DERIVATIVES: mit·i·ga·ble / -gibəl/·i·ga·tor / -ˌgātər/·i·ga·to·ry / -gəˌtôrē/ adj.ORIGIN: late Middle English: from Latin mitigat- ‘softened, alleviated,’ from the verb mitigare, from mitis ‘mild.’