“Whereas loud noises exacerbated the dog’s anxiety, a good pet always seemed to ameliorate it.”

Based on the above sentence, what is the best definition of ameliorate?

Check your answer!

Choice A - To soothe or make better
Choice B - To make quieter or stiller
Choice C - To exacerbate or irritate
Choice D - To excite and enliven


Ameliorate (verb) – to make a bad thing better; to improve the poor condition of something; to enhance

Amelioration (noun) – an improvement of a bad situation; a correction

GRE pro tips:

Ameliorate is the near opposite of another common GRE word: exacerbate. If you have a younger brother or sister, you’ve likely experienced aggravation – their irritating you – as well as exacerbation – their making it worse. The opposite, amelioration, refers to the process of improving or making better. Anything that makes a bad thing better is ameliorating its poor condition. For instance, rest can ameliorate tiredness, donations of food can ameliorate hunger, and a hug can ameliorate sadness.

Example sentences:

“The two nations must work toward an amelioration of tensions for the security of the region.”

“Recent research is showing the potential of a new medication to ameliorate many of the effects of aging.”