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propitiate

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verb pro·pi·ti·ate \prō-ˈpi-shē-ˌāt\

Simple Definition of propitiate

  • : to make (someone) pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of propitiate

propitiated

propitiating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to gain or regain the favor or goodwill of :  appease

propitiator

play \-ˌā-tər\ noun

Examples of propitiate in a sentence

  1. He made an offering to propitiate the angry gods.

  2. <the temple was once the site of sacrifices—both to honor the gods in times of plenty and to propitiate them in times of trouble>



Did You Know?

Like its synonym "appease," propitiate means "to ease the anger or disturbance of," but there are subtle differences between the two terms as well. "Appease" usually implies quieting insistent demands by making concessions, whereas "propitiate" tends to suggest averting the anger or malevolence of a superior being. In fact, "propitiate" often occurs - as in our first example sentence - in contexts involving deities, spirits, or other preternatural forces. You might "appease" your hunger, but to speak more colorfully, you could "propitiate the gods of hunger."

Origin and Etymology of propitiate

Latin propitiatus, past participle of propitiare, from propitius propitious


First Known Use: 1583

Synonym Discussion of propitiate

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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