pacify

verb
pac·​i·​fy | \ ˈpa-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce pacify (audio) \
pacified; pacifying

Definition of pacify

transitive verb

1a : to allay the anger or agitation of : soothe pacify a crying child
b : appease, propitiate tried to pacify the enemy with compromises
2a : to restore to a tranquil state : settle made an attempt to pacify the commotion
b : to reduce to a submissive state : subdue forces moved in to pacify the country

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Other Words from pacify

pacifiable \ ˌpa-​sə-​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce pacifiable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for pacify

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

Did You Know?

A parent who wants to win a little peace and quiet might give a fussy baby a pacifier. An employer seeking to avoid worker discontent might pay employees well. These actions may seem unrelated, but, etymologically speaking, they have a lot in common. Both "pacifier" and "pay" are ultimately derived from "pax," the Latin word for "peace." As you may have guessed, "pax" is also the source of our word peace. "Pacify" comes to us through Middle English "pacifien," from the Latin verb pacificare, which derives from "pax."

Examples of pacify in a Sentence

She resigned from her position to pacify her accusers. Their efforts to pacify the nation by force failed. trying to pacify a mob of protesters
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Recent Examples on the Web

The amendments Tuesday did not pacify groups opposed to the bill or the scores of parents who have flooded the Capitol in protest. Melody Gutierrez, latimes.com, "California vaccine bill undergoes major changes and wins support of former critic Newsom," 18 June 2019 The government cut a number of economic crimes from the list to pacify them. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "Hong Kong Upheaval Puts Beijing in a Bind," 16 June 2019 On Monday, the City Council committed to pacifying voters with a cosmetic non-solution. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio homestead exemption flies in the face of fiscal reality," 26 June 2019 But despite the tepid market, Griffin knew the Lakers were desperate to make a deal and pacify aging superstar LeBron James. Jeff Duncan, nola.com, "With Zion at center stage, David Griffin as choreographer, Pelicans fans are ready to dance," 21 June 2019 Gray’s bill, House Bill 449, bent over backwards to pacify xenophobic legislators. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al.com, "Alabama’s official yoga pose," 9 June 2019 The union contends Frontier changed its tipping policy to pacify flight attendants who have gone without a raise during more than three years of contract negotiations. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "Now Flight Attendants Have to Hustle for Tips," 23 Jan. 2019 This result is unlikely to pacify ardent Brexiteers who hoped to install one of their own, perhaps former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, in the top job. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Theresa May Hangs On," 12 Dec. 2018 The city’s filthy and diseased brothels were to him useful public institutions for pleasuring and pacifying rowdy young men. Jeffrey Collins, WSJ, "‘Power, Pleasure, and Profit’ Review: Self-Mastery Versus Self-Interest," 5 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of pacify

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pacify

Middle English pacifien, from Anglo-French pacifier, from Latin pacificare, from pac-, pax peace

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pacify

The first known use of pacify was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pacify

pacify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pacify

: to cause (someone who is angry or upset) to become calm or quiet
: to cause or force (a country, a violent group of people, etc.) to become peaceful

pacify

verb
pac·​i·​fy | \ ˈpa-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce pacify (audio) \
pacified; pacifying

Kids Definition of pacify

: to make peaceful or quiet : calm, soothe The babysitter tried to pacify the crying baby.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pacify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pacify

Spanish Central: Translation of pacify

Nglish: Translation of pacify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pacify for Arabic Speakers

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