verb ap·pease \ə-ˈpēz\

Definition of appease




  1. transitive verb
  2. 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

  3. 2 :  to cause to subside :  allay appeased my hunger trying to appease her guilty conscience

  4. 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 Laube, Wine Spectator, 31 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 Shulevitz, New York Times Book Review, 20 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 Schonfeld, Business 2.0, September 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. Holden, Wall Street Journal, 19 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.

Origin and Etymology of appease

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

First Known Use: 14th century

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


verb ap·pease \ə-ˈpēz\

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




  1. 1 :  to make calm or quiet appease their anger

  2. 2 :  to make less severe appeased his hunger

Seen and Heard

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to criticize severely

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