Etymology
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palliate (v.)

early 15c., "alleviate (a disease or its symptoms) without curing," from Medieval Latin palliatus, literally "cloaked," from past participle of Late Latin palliare "cover with a cloak, conceal," from Latin pallium "cloak" (see pall (n.)). Meaning "excuse or extenuate (an offense) by pleading or urging extenuating circumstances or favorable representations" is from 1630s. Related: Palliated; palliating; palliation.

Palliate and extenuate come at essentially the same idea through different figures : palliate is to cover in part as with a cloak; extenuate is to thin away or draw out to fineness. They both refer to the effort to make an offense seem less by bringing forward considerations tending to excuse; they never mean the effort to exonerate or exculpate completely. [Century Dictionary]

updated on December 16, 2019

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Definitions of palliate from WordNet

palliate (v.)
lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of;
Synonyms: extenuate / mitigate
palliate (v.)
provide physical relief, as from pain;
Synonyms: relieve / alleviate / assuage
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.