verb ap·pease \ ə-ˈpēz \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of appease

appeased; appeasing
1 : pacify, conciliate; especially : to make concessions to (someone, such as an aggressor or a critic) often at the sacrifice of principles
  • appeased the dictator by accepting his demands
  • Placaters, who try hard to appease others so as to keep the peace, fear getting hurt in some way.
  • —Mike Cote
2 : to cause to subside : allay
  • appeased my hunger
  • trying to appease her guilty conscience
3 : to bring to a state of peace or quiet : calm
  • appease a quarrel


play \-ˈpē-zə-bəl\ adjective


play \-ˈpēz-mənt\ noun



Examples of appease in a Sentence

  1. But I imagine he and his siblings, who profited handsomely from the sale, have mixed emotions. They may be sad they had to sell, yet relieved that they are no longer under pressure to appease Wall Street's demand for growth and profits. —James LaubeWine Spectator31 Mar. 2005
  2. The first is that, in affluent America, mothering has gone from an art to a cult, with devotees driving themselves to ever more baroque extremes to appease the goddess of perfect motherhood. —Judith ShulevitzNew York Times Book Review20 Feb. 2005
  3. It was last summer, and Gingell, then Sun Microsystems's chief software engineer, had an excuse: His twin-engine Cessna had broken down, and he'd lost track of time while he gabbed on the phone with his mechanic. That wasn't likely to appease Sun's famously tart-tongued CEO, Scott McNealy, who was getting his introductory briefing on a vital new technology initiative that happened to be Gingell's brainchild. —Erick SchonfeldBusiness 2.0September 2002
  4. The California legislature's solution to this seemingly intractable problem was a politically appealing package with features to appease both utility investors and ratepayers. —Benjamin A. HoldenWall Street Journal19 Feb. 1997
  5. They appeased the dictator by accepting his demands in an effort to avoid war.

  6. His critics were not appeased by this last speech.

  7. They made sacrifices to appease the gods.

  8. We had no way to appease our hunger.

Recent Examples of appease from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appease.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of appease

Middle English appesen, from Anglo-French apeser, apaiser, from a- (from Latin ad-) + pais peace — more at peace

Synonym Discussion of appease

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

APPEASE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of appease for English Language Learners

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

  • : to make (a pain, a problem, etc.) less painful or troubling

APPEASE Defined for Kids


verb ap·pease \ ə-ˈpēz \

Definition of appease for Students

appeased; appeasing
1 : to make calm or quiet
  • appease their anger
2 : to make less severe
  • appeased his hunger

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excessive admiration or flattery

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