Simple Definition of pacify
: to cause (someone who is angry or upset) to become calm or quiet
: to cause or force (a country, a violent group of people, etc.) to become peaceful
Full Definition of pacify
Examples of pacify in a sentence
She resigned from her position to pacify her accusers.
Their efforts to pacify the nation by force failed.
trying to pacify a mob of protesters
Did You Know?
A parent who wants to win a little peace and quiet might give a fussy baby a pacifier. An employer seeking to avoid worker discontent might pay employees well. These actions may seem unrelated, but, etymologically speaking, they have a lot in common. Both "pacifier" and "pay" are ultimately derived from "pax," the Latin word for "peace." As you may have guessed, "pax" is also the source of our word peace. "Pacify" comes to us through Middle English "pacifien," from the Latin verb pacificare, which derives from "pax."
Origin of pacify
Middle English pacifien, from Anglo-French pacifier, from Latin pacificare, from pac-, pax peace
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of pacify
PACIFY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up pacify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).