Mitigate vs Anodyne - What's the difference?

mitigate | anodyne |

As a verb mitigate

is to reduce, lessen, or decrease.

As an adjective anodyne is

capable]] of [[soothe|soothing or eliminating pain.

As a noun anodyne is

(pharmacology) any medicine or other agent that relieves pain.




  • To reduce, lessen, or decrease.
  • * 1795
  • Measures are pursuing to prevent or mitigate the usual consequences of such outrages, and with the hope of their succeeding at least to avert general hostility.
  • * 1813
  • But in yielding to it the retaliation has been mitigated as much as possible, both in its extent and in its character...
  • * 1896
  • Then they tell us that vaccination will mitigate the disease that it will make it milder.
  • * 1901 — , ch 7
  • Then I discovered the brilliance of the landscape around was mitigated by blue spectacles.
  • * 1920
  • The plague had not been kind to him, yet had left him this small furry thing to mitigate his sorrow; and when one is very young, one can find great relief in the lively antics of a black kitten.
  • To downplay.
  • Synonyms

    * (to reduce or lessen) check, diminish, ease, lighten, mollify, pacify, palliate


    * (to reduce or lessen) aggrandize, aggravate, exacerbate, incite, increase, intensify, irritate, worsen

    Coordinate terms

    * (l)




    (en adjective)
  • Capable]] of [[soothe, soothing or eliminating pain.
  • * 1847 , Littell's Living Age , number 161, 12 June 1847, in Volume 13, page 483:
  • Many a time has the vapor of ether been inhaled for the relief of oppressed lungs; many a time has the sought relief been thus obtained; and just so many times has the discovery of the wonderful anodyne properties of this gas, as affecting all bodily suffering, been brushed past and overlooked.
  • * 1910 , Edward L. Keyes, Diseases of the Genito-Urinary Organs , page 211:
  • The citrate is the most efficient as an alkali, but irritates some stomachs, the liquor the most anodyne , the acetate the most diuretic.
  • (figuratively) Soothing or relaxing.
  • Classical music is rather anodyne .
  • Noncontentious, blandly agreeable, unlikely to cause offence or debate; bland, inoffensive.
  • * 2003 , The Guardian , 20 May 2003:
  • It all became so routine, so anodyne , so dull.
  • * 2010 , "Rattled", The Economist , 9 Dec 2010:
  • States typically like to stick to anodyne messages, like saving wildflowers or animals. But every so often a controversy crops up.


    (en noun)
  • (pharmacology) Any medicine or other agent that relieves pain.
  • (figuratively) A source of relaxation or comfort.
  • *1890 , (Oscar Wilde), The Picture of Dorian Gray , ch. VII:
  • *:The air was heavy with the perfume of the flowers, and their beauty seemed to bring him an anodyne for his pain.
  • *1929 , (Virginia Woolf), A Room of One's Own , page 79:
  • So, with a sigh, because novels so often provide an anodyne and not an antidote, glide one into torpid slumbers instead of rousing one with a burning brand.

    Derived terms

    * anodynia * anodynous


    * *