peace·​ful ˈpēs-fəl How to pronounce peaceful (audio)
: peaceable sense 1
They are a peaceful people.
: untroubled by conflict, agitation, or commotion : quiet, tranquil
the feeling … that we as neighbors could settle any disputes in peaceful fashionF. D. Roosevelt
: of or relating to a state or time of peace
… the feasibility of creating a peaceful world order.Alan Tonelson
: devoid of violence or force
The opposing groups used peaceful tactics.
peacefully adverb
peacefulness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for peaceful

calm, tranquil, serene, placid, peaceful mean quiet and free from disturbance.

calm often implies a contrast with a foregoing or nearby state of agitation or violence.

the protests ended, and the streets were calm again

tranquil suggests a very deep quietude or composure.

the tranquil beauty of a formal garden

serene stresses an unclouded and lofty tranquility.

watched the sunset of a serene summer's evening

placid suggests an undisturbed appearance and often implies a degree of complacency.

remained placid despite the criticism

peaceful implies a state of repose in contrast with or following strife or turmoil.

grown peaceful in old age

Examples of peaceful in a Sentence

The park is so peaceful and quiet. They settled the conflict by peaceful means. We need to find a peaceful alternative to war.
Recent Examples on the Web Now, a special team of detectives sets out to solve horrific murders, after two victims are found in the otherwise peaceful German countryside. Marta Balaga, Variety, 7 Apr. 2024 Plus, Kutcher said, things are just more peaceful this way. Fortesa Latifi, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 The historic 1800 campaign marked the first peaceful transfer of power in the nation’s short history—the first time a ruling party gave way to the loyal opposition. TIME, 4 Apr. 2024 There are as many as 110 women political prisoners in Cuba, most of them peaceful protesters who were detained after mass anti-government demonstrations on July 11, 2024. Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald, 4 Apr. 2024 The battlegrounds have also multiplied, from a few notoriously quarrelsome parent councils to traditionally peaceful spots around the city. Troy Closson, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 The British had attempted to take some Māori men on board their ship to demonstrate that their intentions were peaceful. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 The chants and the hymns are ordered and peaceful, a recipe for beauty. Patrick Neas, Kansas City Star, 29 Mar. 2024 These features have made U.S. alliances tremendously attractive, effective, and stabilizing—which is why Europe and East Asia have been so peaceful since World War II and why Washington has more trouble keeping prospective members out than luring them in. Hal Brands, Foreign Affairs, 29 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of peaceful was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near peaceful

Cite this Entry

“Peaceful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


peace·​ful ˈpēs-fəl How to pronounce peaceful (audio)
: enjoying peace and quiet
a peaceful people
: quiet entry 2 sense 1c, tranquil
a peaceful countryside
especially : not at war
: not involving violence or force
settled the conflict by peaceful means
peacefully adverb
peacefulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on peaceful

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