Mitigate vs Quell - What's the difference?

mitigate | quell |

As a verb mitigate

is to reduce, lessen, or decrease.

As a noun quell is





  • 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)



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) (m), from (etyl) .


    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To kill.
  • (Spenser)
  • To subdue, to put down; to silence or force (someone) to submit.
  • * Macaulay
  • The nation obeyed the call, rallied round the sovereign, and enabled him to quell the disaffected minority.
  • * Longfellow
  • Northward marching to quell the sudden revolt.
  • To suppress, to put an end to (something); to extinguish.
  • to quell grief
    to quell the tumult of the soul
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2014 , date=December 13 , author=Mandeep Sanghera , title=Burnley 1-0 Southampton , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=However, after quelling Burnley's threat, Southampton failed to build on their growing danger culminating in Tadic's missed penalty.}}
  • (obsolete) To be subdued or abated; to diminish.
  • * Spenser
  • Winter's wrath begins to quell .
  • To die.
  • * Spenser
  • Yet he did quake and quaver, like to quell .

    Etymology 2

    (etyl) Quelle .


    (en noun)
  • A spring or fountain.
  • English terms with multiple etymologies