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From Webster: ame·lio·rate Pronunciation: &-'mEl-y&-"rAt, -'mE-lE-&- Function: verb Inflected Form(s): -rat·ed; -rat·ing Etymology: alteration of meliorate transitive senses : to make better or more tolerable intransitive senses : to grow better synonym see IMPROVE.

This is one of those damn vocab words that commonly comes up on the SATs in the USA. Try using it in front of your kids for their own good.

Maturation is a process of amelioration.