placate

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

Definition of placate

transitive verb

: to soothe or mollify especially by concessions : appease

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Such a finding could potentially further excite Warren’s critics instead of placating them. Bob Salsberg, The Seattle Times, "Sen. Warren: DNA test shows I have Native American heritage," 15 Oct. 2018 To placate President Donald Trump, China will try to import more from America and pay more for foreign intellectual property (IP), Mr Ding says. The Economist, "China’s vanished current-account surplus will change the world economy," 17 May 2018 Sign-up As for the three-fifths compromise, that was an effort to placate slavery’s supporters, as was the extension of the slave trade until 1808. David S. Reynolds, WSJ, "‘No Property in Man’ and ‘The War Before the War’ Review: The Fuse the Founders Lit," 22 Nov. 2018 To placate Tory hardliners, the white paper may try to present the plan as a temporary one. The Economist, "Hard Brexit is unravelling," 28 June 2018 Walmart and Target made Toys R Us less of a destination and gave parents a way to placate their kids while also doing their own shopping. Daniel B. Kline, USA TODAY, "What went wrong with Toys R Us?," 9 Mar. 2018 Trump, placated, agreed to the arrangement, and stood down. Murray Waas, Vox, "Exclusive: Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker was counseling the White House on investigating Clinton," 9 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about placate

Listen to Our Podcast about placate

Statistics for placate

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for placate

The first known use of placate was in 1678

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for placate

placate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of placate

: 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on placate

What made you want to look up placate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!