Simple Definition of placate
: to cause (someone) to feel less angry about something
Full Definition of placate
placatinglyplay \-ˌkā-tiŋ-lē\ adverb
placationplay \plā-ˈkā-shən, pla-\ noun
placativeplay \ˈplā-ˌkā-tiv, ˈpla-\ adjective
placatoryplay \ˈplā-kə-ˌtȯr-ē, ˈpla-\ adjective
Examples of placate in a sentence
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
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
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
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
The administration placated protesters by agreeing to consider their demands.
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 and Etymology of placate
Latin placatus, past participle of placare — more at please
First Known Use: 1678
Synonym Discussion of placate
PLACATE Defined for Kids
Definition of placate for Students
: 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).