ap·​pease ə-ˈpēz How to pronounce appease (audio)
appeased; appeasing

transitive verb

: 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
: to cause to subside : allay
appeased my hunger
trying to appease her guilty conscience
: to bring to a state of peace or quiet : calm
appease a quarrel
appeasable adjective
appeaser noun
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of appease in a Sentence

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
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
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
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
They appeased the dictator by accepting his demands in an effort to avoid war. His critics were not appeased by this last speech. They made sacrifices to appease the gods. We had no way to appease our hunger.
Recent Examples on the Web Anderson, the Eastland pastor and Metropolis city councilman, wasn’t appeased by the board’s assurances on drag performances. Mike Hixenbaugh, NBC News, 18 Apr. 2024 Many of them think the government is sacrificing their daughters for the sake of stability, to appease Boko Haram, an accusation that Governor Zulum denied. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, The Atlantic, 12 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for appease 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'appease.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of appease was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near appease

Cite this Entry

“Appease.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ap·​pease ə-ˈpēz How to pronounce appease (audio)
appeased; appeasing
: to make calm or quiet
: to make less severe : relieve
appeased my hunger
: to give in to even when it is wrong to do so
appeasement noun
appeaser noun

Middle English appesen "to appease," from early French apaiser (same meaning), from a- "to" and pais "peace," from Latin pac-, pax "peace" — related to pacify, peace

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