con·​cil·​i·​ate kən-ˈsi-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce conciliate (audio)
conciliated; conciliating

transitive verb

: appease
… urgently counseled conciliating the peasants …William Taubman
: to gain (something, such as goodwill) by pleasing acts
: to make compatible : reconcile
It is hard to conciliate the views of labor and management on this point.

intransitive verb

: to become friendly or agreeable
conciliation noun
conciliative adjective
conciliator noun

Did you know?

Now here’s a people pleaser. The immediate source of conciliate is a form of the Latin verb conciliare, meaning "to assemble, unite, win over," and when conciliate was first used in the 16th century, the idea of winning over was key; it was used to mean "to gain something, such as goodwill or favor, by pleasing acts." Today, conciliate is mostly used in contexts where appease or reconcile is a more common choice, as in "a refusal to conciliate the dictator," and "efforts to conciliate the views of those on opposing sides." Like the word council, conciliate ultimately traces back to the Latin word concilium, meaning "assembly, council."

Choose the Right Synonym for conciliate

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 conciliate in a Sentence

The company's attempts to conciliate the strikers have failed. it will be hard to conciliate the views of labor and management regarding health benefits
Recent Examples on the Web The hope for this person is that officials from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) can mediate and conciliate this epic fight. Kim Masters, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 July 2023 Much as former President Barack Obama once courted congressional Republicans, Tromp sought to conciliate the conservative legislators. Daniel Golden, ProPublica, 4 July 2022 Biden’s team has absorbed, even invited, criticism from authoritarians whom Trump used to conciliate. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 25 Mar. 2021 Refusing either to conciliate or coerce Southern states rushing headlong into secession, Lincoln maintained... Harold Holzer, WSJ, 15 May 2020 Rather than jousting with citizen groups at zoning-board meetings, Mr. Traurig tried to conciliate them in advance. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 27 July 2018 Trump’s determination to conciliate Putin can’t be dismissed as casual trolling or some idle attraction to a friendly face. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, 8 July 2018 Bickering over cabin choices and roommates until the older children brought in the authorities, in the form of parents, to conciliate. Oddur Thorisson, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 June 2018 Attorney General Jeff Sessions has proclaimed the end of Obama-era reforms which conciliated between civil-rights activists and police to yield a wave of law-enforcement reforms. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, 24 May 2018 See More

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

Word History


Latin conciliatus, past participle of conciliare to assemble, unite, win over, from concilium assembly, council — more at council

First Known Use

1545, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of conciliate was in 1545


Dictionary Entries Near conciliate

Cite this Entry

“Conciliate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​cil·​i·​ate kən-ˈsil-ē-ˌāt How to pronounce conciliate (audio)
conciliated; conciliating
: to bring into agreement : reconcile
: to gain the goodwill or favor of
conciliate the opposition
conciliation noun
conciliator noun
-ˈsil-yə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce conciliate (audio)

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