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 Virtual try-ons, however, may not be enough to pacify shoppers in the long haul, said First Insight's Petro. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, "No testers, no problem: Ulta and Sephora have a new take on 'try before you buy'," 18 June 2020 In the latter case, this willful misinterpretation spans strategic conservative panic and liberal attempts to pacify. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "The Rush to Redefine “Defund the Police”," 9 June 2020 As the rift got deeper between the brothers, Kate, who used to be so close to Harry, tried to pacify things. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "In A Rare Statement, Kate Middleton Slams Article About Royal Rumors & Meghan Markle," 27 May 2020 For fans that seriously threatened to cancel, DirecTV often pacified them with free NFL Sunday Ticket. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Cubs fans: Will Sinclair convince your team to copy Dodgers with a TV blackout?," 20 Sep. 2019 Because existing medication, though flawed, effectively pacifies patients so well that there was no financial incentive for Pfizer to replace it quickly. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "What Causes Schizophrenia?," 14 Apr. 2020 The lack of a clear roadmap for the U.S. stimulus plan did little to pacify the markets. David Meyer, Fortune, "Markets need to know leaders have a grip on coronavirus," 11 Mar. 2020 People gently caressed his head to pacify the man who seemed to be in his 60s. Amanat Khullar, Quartz India, "Religious zeal shattered Delhi’s lives and dreams. Religious zeal is now picking up the pieces, too," 28 Feb. 2020 The concession failed to pacify left-wing unions, which are calling for nationwide protests next week. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "France’s Macron Advances Pension Overhaul, Despite Protests," 24 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pacify

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pacify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pacify. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for pacify

pacify

verb
How to pronounce pacify (audio)

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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