Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

placate

play
verb pla·cate \ˈplā-ˌkāt, ˈpla-\

Simple Definition of placate

  • : to cause (someone) to feel less angry about something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of placate

placatedplacating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to soothe or mollify especially by concessions :  appease

placater noun
placatingly play \-ˌkā-tiŋ-lē\ adverb
placation play \plā-ˈkā-shən, pla-\ noun
placative play \ˈplā-ˌkā-tiv, ˈpla-\ adjective
placatory play \ˈplā-kə-ˌtȯr-ē, ˈpla-\ adjective

Examples of placate in a sentence

  1. Although Rumsfeld was later thrown overboard by the Administration in an attempt to placate critics of the Iraq War, his military revolution was here to stay. —Jeremy Scahill, Nation, 2 Apr. 2007

  2. The first step that women took in their emancipation was to adopt traditional male roles: to insist on their right to wear trousers, not to placate, not to smile, not to be decorative. —Fay Weldon, Harper's, May 1998

  3. These spirits inhabited natural objects, like rivers and mountains, including celestial bodies, like the sun and moon. They had to be placated and their favors sought in order to ensure the fertility of the soil and the rotation of the seasons. —Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time, 1988

  4. But it seems important to the Thunderbirds to make a big deal out of this; evidently it placates congressmen who don't think the Air Force should be in show biz. —Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 3 Aug. 1987

  5. The administration placated protesters by agreeing to consider their demands.

  6. The angry customer was not placated by the clerk's apology.



Did You Know?

The earliest documented uses of "placate" in English date from the late 17th century. The word is derived from Latin placatus, the past participle of "placare," and even after more than 300 years in English, it still carries the basic meaning of its Latin ancestor: to soothe or "to appease." Other "placare" descendants in English are "implacable" (meaning "not easily soothed or satisfied") and "placation" ("the act of soothing or appeasing"). Even "please" itself, derived from Latin placēre ("to please"), is a distant relative of "placate."

Origin of placate

Latin placatus, past participle of placare — more at please


First Known Use: 1678

Synonym Discussion of placate

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>.

Rhymes with placate

abate, ablate, adnate, aerate, age-mate, agnate, airdate, airfreight, alate, arête, await, backdate, baldpate, bandmate, baseplate, bedmate, bedplate, berate, birthrate, bistate, bite plate, blank slate, blind date, blue plate, bookplate, breastplate, casemate, castrate, caudate, cell plate, cerate, cheapskate, checkmate, chelate, chordate, citrate, classmate, clavate, cognate, collate, comate, conflate, connate, Cook Strait, cordate, create, cremate, crenate, curate, cut-rate, deadweight, death rate, debate, deflate, delate, dentate, derate, dictate, dilate, disrate, donate, doorplate, downstate, drawplate, elate, end plate, equate, estate, faceplate, falcate, fellate, filtrate, first-rate, fishplate, fixate, flatmate, floodgate, fluxgate, flyweight, folate, formate, frustrate, gelate, gestate, ground state, gyrate, hamate, hastate, headgate, Hell Gate, helpmate, home plate, hot plate, housemate, hydrate, ice-skate, inflate, ingrate, inmate, innate, instate, irate, jailbait, Kuwait, lactate, lapse rate, legate, liftgate, ligate, lightweight, liquate, lobate, locate, lunate, lustrate, lych-gate, lyrate, magnate, makebate, makeweight, mandate, messmate, migrate, misstate, mutate, nameplate, narrate, negate, Newgate, nitrate, notate, nutate, oblate, of late, orate, ornate, ovate, palmate, palpate, peltate, phonate, pinnate, playdate, playmate, plicate, portrait, postdate, predate, prime rate, probate, prolate, pronate, prorate, prostate, prostrate, punctate, pupate, quadrate, rain date, ramate, rebate, red-bait, relate, restate, roommate, rostrate, rotate, saccate, schoolmate, seatmate, sedate, sensate, septate, serrate, shipmate, short weight, slave state, soleplate, soul mate, spectate, spicate, squamate, stagnate, stalemate, stellate, striate, sublate, substrate, sulcate, summate, tailgate, teammate, Tebet, tenth-rate, ternate, terneplate, testate, third-rate, tinplate, to date, toeplate, tollgate, tractate, translate, tristate, truncate, unweight, update, uprate, upstate, V-8, vacate, vallate, valvate, vibrate, virgate, vulgate, whitebait, workmate


PLACATE Defined for Kids

placate

play
verb pla·cate \ˈplā-ˌkāt, ˈpla-\

Definition of placate for Students

placatedplacating

  1. :  to calm the anger of <The apology did little to placate customers.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up placate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the Celtic May Day festival

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt angry oily maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ