placate

verb
pla·​cate | \ ˈplā-ˌkāt How to pronounce placate (audio) , ˈpla- How to pronounce placate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce placate (audio) , ˈpla-​ \ adverb
placation \ plā-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce placate (audio) , pla-​ \ noun
placative \ ˈplā-​ˌkā-​tiv How to pronounce placate (audio) , ˈpla-​ \ adjective
placatory \ ˈplā-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce placate (audio) , 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 The decision was meant to placate business groups and key political backers who did not want to see the NCAA pull tournaments from the state. NBC News, "South Dakota governor wants to rewrite trans athlete ban," 23 Mar. 2021 The White House meeting came a day after the president hired a new advisor to placate two lawmakers who have criticized the lack of Asian Americans in his Cabinet. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, "Biden meets with Congress’ Asian American leaders as Senate takes up a hate-crimes bill," 15 Apr. 2021 With Beijing and Moscow circling, the White House has proposed a slight defense-spending cut to placate progressives. Jimmy Quinn, National Review, "Biden’s Budget Would Weaken Our National Defense," 14 Apr. 2021 One thing led to another, and before long companies big and small were playing music to placate waiting callers. BostonGlobe.com, "‘Your call is important to us.’ Really?," 7 Apr. 2021 Hundreds of people imprisoned for protesting last month’s coup were released Wednesday in the first apparent gesture by the military to try to placate the protest movement. Fox News, "Burma junta frees hundreds held for anti-coup protests," 24 Mar. 2021 That unelected staffers, with no vision beyond not being Donald Trump and trying to placate progressive Twitter users, have given us today’s border dynamic. WSJ, "The Immigration Unpresident," 16 Mar. 2021 In terms of plot interest, there’s the question of whether Jerome will swallow his integrity to placate Miranda or call her out on her oppressive behavior and jeopardize his big break. Los Angeles Times, "Review: In ‘The Gaze ... No Homo,’ a Black and queer actor navigates the white theater world," 6 Mar. 2021 But Peikoff seemed to indicate that Parler would make more changes to placate the tech giant. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "Parler needs Apple so much it’s actually moderating more content," 11 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for placate

Time Traveler

The first known use of placate was in 1678

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Statistics for placate

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Placate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/placate. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce placate (audio) , ˈpla- \
placated; placating

Kids Definition of placate

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

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Comments on placate

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