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

Other Words from pacify

pacifiable \ ˌpa-​sə-​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce pacify (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
Recent Examples on the Web Both the president and prime minister have held on to their positions, while three other Rajapaksa family members resigned from the Cabinet earlier in April in what appeared an attempt to pacify angry protesters. Arkansas Online, 30 Apr. 2022 Both the president and prime minister have held on to their positions, while three other Rajapaksa family members resigned from the Cabinet earlier in April in what appeared an attempt to pacify angry protesters. Krishan Francis, ajc, 29 Apr. 2022 After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Germany’s historical willingness to form stable diplomatic and economic links with Russia—rooted partly in a belief that stronger ties with Russia could pacify Putin’s regime—drew intense scrutiny. Joe Walsh, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 Khan this month unexpectedly cut fuel and electricity prices to pacify public anger, disregarding the IMF agreement. Faseeh Mangi, Bloomberg.com, 30 Mar. 2022 One possibility is to extend the mask mandate further but not too much longer, to pacify the unions but still claim victory on the virus long before people head to the polls in November. Ben Baldanza, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2022 At the time, Shanahan’s quote sounded like a way to publicly pacify his still-simmering starter. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Nov. 2021 Vanity sanctions have long been a go-to for politicians looking to gain cheap popularity at home and to pacify democracy warriors and their media allies on the left and right. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 10 Jan. 2022 The fighting also highlights the limits of reconciliation efforts — long advocated and supervised by Assad’s Russian allies as a way to pacify the country — and the inability or unwillingness of Russia to keep Syrian government forces in check. Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near pacify

pacifist

pacify

Pacinian corpuscle

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pacify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pacify. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pacify

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on pacify

Nglish: Translation of pacify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pacify for Arabic Speakers

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