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Middle French, French faciliter to make easy (mid 15th century.


  • 1.To make (an action, process, etc.) easy or easier; to promote, help forward; to assist in bringing about (a particular end or result).
b. To make simpler or less difficult to understand; to simplify. Obs.
  • 2. To assist (a person); to enable or allow (a person) to do something, achieve a particular result, etc., more easily.
  • 3. Physiology. To enhance or strengthen (a reflex or other neuromuscular or neural activity), or increase the ease of transmission of (a nerve impulse), by prior excitation.


  • 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 psychotherapy)
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