Alleviate vs elevate

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Alleviate and elevate are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the differing definitions of alleviate and elevate, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Alleviate means to ease the suffering from a specific circumstance or situation, to make something that is difficult, easier to bear. Alleviate may also mean to decrease. It comes from the Late Latin word alleviatus, which means to lighten. Related words are alleviates, alleviated, alleviating, alleviator, alleviation.

Elevate means to lift something higher, to raise something or someone to a superior level, whether in a physical sense or a figurative sense. The word elevate is derived from the Latin word elevatus which means to raise up or to lighten. Related words are elevates, elevated, elevating, elevator, elevation.


The Canton Finance Committee, along with Finance Director Jim Murgia, appear poised to help the School Department alleviate a serious budget deficit impacting this year and next through a combination of reserve fund transfers, use of the town’s special education stabilization account, and a recommended increase in the school budget cap. (The Canton Citizen)

Local real estate broker and former County Commissioner Tommie Herrell, went before County Commissioners March 8 and proposed an offer to sell lots in the Alamo Blocks Subdivision for a chance to give the county an opportunity to alleviate the limited parking that affects county and state employees as well as residents. (The Alamogordo Daily News)

Across Houston, thousands of people are receiving letters saying their homes are so damaged that they must elevate them to meet current floodplain regulations. (The Texas Tribune)

In order to elevate your team, it’s important to give them the chance to meet with clients. (Forbes Magazine)