placate

verb
pla·​cate | \ ˈplā-ˌkāt , ˈpla- \
placated; placating

Definition of placate

transitive verb

: to soothe or mollify especially by concessions : appease

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Other Words from placate

placater noun
placatingly \ ˈplā-​ˌkā-​tiŋ-​lē , ˈpla-​ \ adverb
placation \ plā-​ˈkā-​shən , pla-​ \ noun
placative \ ˈplā-​ˌkā-​tiv , ˈpla-​ \ adjective
placatory \ ˈplā-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē , ˈpla-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for placate

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

Soothe Yourself With the History of Placate

The earliest documented uses of "placate" in English date from the late 17th century. The word is derived from Latin placatus, the past participle of "placare," and even after more than 300 years in English, it still carries the basic meaning of its Latin ancestor: to soothe or "to appease." Other "placare" descendants in English are "implacable" (meaning "not easily soothed or satisfied") and "placation" ("the act of soothing or appeasing"). Even "please" itself, derived from Latin placēre ("to please"), is a distant relative of "placate."

Examples of placate in a Sentence

Although Rumsfeld was later thrown overboard by the Administration in an attempt to placate critics of the Iraq War, his military revolution was here to stay. — Jeremy Scahill, Nation, 2 Apr. 2007 The first step that women took in their emancipation was to adopt traditional male roles: to insist on their right to wear trousers, not to placate, not to smile, not to be decorative. — Fay Weldon, Harper's, May 1998 These spirits inhabited natural objects, like rivers and mountains, including celestial bodies, like the sun and moon. They had to be placated and their favors sought in order to ensure the fertility of the soil and the rotation of the seasons. — Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time, 1988 But it seems important to the Thunderbirds to make a big deal out of this; evidently it placates congressmen who don't think the Air Force should be in show biz. — Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 3 Aug. 1987 The administration placated protesters by agreeing to consider their demands. The angry customer was not placated by the clerk's apology.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But that did little to placate those who want the artwork removed. Isabel Debre, The Seattle Times, "‘McJesus’ sculpture sparks outrage among Israel’s Christians," 14 Jan. 2019 So instead baseball executives have decided to sacrifice the players’ rights to placate the regime. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Baseball Teams Up With Castro," 30 Dec. 2018 The government agreed to subsidise diesel for 60 days to placate the drivers, whose strike was provoked by rises in fuel prices. The Economist, "Politics this week," 7 June 2018 The leadership of the Justice Department scrambled to try to placate the president without compromising its integrity any more than necessary. Paul Thornton, latimes.com, "Trump shouldn't 'hereby demand' anything from the Justice Dept.," 26 May 2018 At the time, Vivendi placated U.S. hedge fund P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP by boosting its dividend. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Vivendi to Explore Selling Up to 50% of Universal Music Group," 30 July 2018 Since the firing of James Comey, the staff around Trump have managed to placate, delay, or contain some of these impulses. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Taking Out His Enemies And Turning Toward Robert Mueller," 17 Mar. 2018 As speaker of the House, one of his primary roles was to placate a president who stole his party out from under him and turned white resentment into a political weapon not even Donald Trump and certainly not Paul Ryan can control. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Paul Ryan wants you to know he has identified what’s wrong with the Republican Party," 17 Dec. 2018 By including LiAngelo in a pre-draft workout, even one that contains other non-NBA prospects, the Lakers seem to be placating a dad who has threatened to pull Lonzo off the team in a few years if his brothers haven't joined him by then. Bill Plaschke, latimes.com, "Lakers shouldn't want another (less-talented) Ball in their court," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'placate.' 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 placate

1678, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for placate

Latin placatus, past participle of placare — more at please

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Statistics for placate

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for placate

The first known use of placate was in 1678

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More Definitions for placate

placate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of placate

formal : to cause (someone) to feel less angry about something

placate

verb
pla·​cate | \ ˈplā-ˌkāt , ˈpla-\
placated; placating

Kids Definition of placate

: to calm the anger of The apology did little to placate customers.

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More from Merriam-Webster on placate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with placate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for placate

Spanish Central: Translation of placate

Nglish: Translation of placate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of placate for Arabic Speakers

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