con·​cil·​ia·​to·​ry | \ kən-ˈsil-yə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce conciliatory (audio) , -ˈsi-lē-ə- \

Definition of conciliatory

: intended to gain goodwill or favor or to reduce hostility : tending or intended to conciliate speaking in a conciliatory tone But while the conference call might have been seen as a conciliatory gesture, an olive branch to his critics after weeks of bitter back-and-forth, the meeting seemed anything but.— Colin Deppen He was self-assured, aggressive, combative, at times willing to offend and at times trying to sound conciliatory.— Dan Balz

Did you know?

If you are conciliatory towards someone, you're trying to win that person over to your side. The verb conciliate was borrowed into English in the mid-16th century and descends from the Latin verb conciliare, meaning "to assemble, unite, or win over." Conciliare, in turn, comes from Latin concilium, meaning "assembly" or "council." Conciliatory, which appeared in English a bit later in the 16th century, also traces back to conciliare. Another word that has conciliare as a root is reconcile, the earliest meaning of which is "to restore to friendship or harmony."

First Known Use of conciliatory

1576, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of conciliatory was in 1576

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Cite this Entry

“Conciliatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on conciliatory

Nglish: Translation of conciliatory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conciliatory for Arabic Speakers


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