AskDefine | Define facilitate

Dictionary Definition



1 make easier; "you could facilitate the process by sharing your knowledge" [syn: ease, alleviate]
2 be of use; "This will help to prevent accidents" [syn: help]
3 physiology: increase the likelihood of (a response); "The stimulus facilitates a delayed impulse"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To make easy or easier.
  2. To preside over (a meeting, a seminar)


to make easy or easier
to preside over (a meeting, a seminar)



  1. Form of Second-person plural imperative, facilitare#Italian|facilitare



From facilitas through facilité



  1. facility


ro-noun-f-tate facili

Extensive Definition

The term facilitation is broadly used to describe any activity which makes tasks for others easy. For example:
  • Facilitation is used in business and organisational settings to ensure the designing and running of successful meetings.
  • Neural facilitation in neuroscience, is the increase in postsynaptic potential evoked by a 2nd impulse.
  • Ecological facilitation describes how an organism profits from the presence of another. Examples are nurse plants, which provide shade for new seedlings or saplings (e.g. using an orange tree to provide shade for a newly planted coffee plant), or plants providing shelter from wind chill in arctic environments.
A person who takes on such a role is called a facilitator. Specifically:
  • A facilitator is used in a variety of group settings, including business and other organisations to describe someone whose role it is to work with group processes to ensure meetings run well and achieve a high degree of consensus.
  • The term facilitator is used in psychotherapy where the role is more to help group members become aware of the feelings they hold for one another (see Group therapy)
  • The term facilitator is used in education to refer to a specifically trained adult who sits in class with a disabled, or otherwise needy, student to help them follow the lesson that the teacher is giving (see Disability)
  • The term facilitator is used to describe people engaged in the illegal trafficking of human beings across international borders (see Trafficking in human beings).
  • The term facilitator is used to describe those individuals who arrange adoptions by attempting to match available children with prospective adopters.
  • The term facilitator is used to describe someone who assists people with communication disorders to use communication aids with their hands. See Facilitated communication
facilitate in Finnish: Fasilitointi

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

act for, advance, advantage, aid, assist, be instrumental, boost, clear the way, conduce to, contribute to, ease, encourage, expedite, explain, favor, forward, further, go between, grease, grease the ways, grease the wheels, hasten, help, help along, lend wings to, loose, lubricate, make clear, make for, make way for, mediate, minister to, oil, open the way, open up, pave the way, prepare the way, promote, push forward, put forward, quicken, remove friction, run interference for, serve, set forward, simplify, smooth, smooth the way, soap the ways, speed, subserve, unbar, unblock, unclog, unjam
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