verb \ˈpa-sə-ˌfī\

: 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

transitive verb
a :  to allay the anger or agitation of :  soothe <pacify a crying child>
b :  appease, propitiate
a :  to restore to a tranquil state :  settle <made an attempt to pacify the commotion>
b :  to reduce to a submissive state :  subdue <forces moved in to pacify the country>
pac·i·fi·able \ˌpa-sə-ˈfī-ə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of PACIFY

  1. She resigned from her position to pacify her accusers.
  2. Their efforts to pacify the nation by force failed.
  3. trying to pacify a mob of protesters

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, appease, placate, mollify, propitiate, conciliate mean to ease the anger or disturbance of. pacify suggests a soothing or calming <pacified by a sincere apology>. appease implies quieting insistent demands by making concessions <appease their territorial ambitions>. placate suggests changing resentment or bitterness to goodwill <a move to placate local opposition>. mollify implies soothing hurt feelings or rising anger <a speech that mollified the demonstrators>. propitiate implies averting anger or malevolence especially of a superior being <propitiated his parents by dressing up>. conciliate suggests ending an estrangement by persuasion, concession, or settling of differences <conciliating the belligerent nations>.


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