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

Comey erred by bending over backward to placate their paranoia. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Latest and Most Insane New Theory for Shutting Down Mueller Probe," 25 June 2018 President Hassan Rouhani, a lackluster apparatchik of the security state, once thought that a nuclear deal would generate sufficient foreign investment to placate discontent. Reuel Marc Gerecht And, WSJ, "Don’t Fear Regime Change in Iran," 11 June 2018 Get our daily newsletter Even the constitutional court’s ruling on May 3rd that struck out parts of the electoral law, including those that would have prevented Mr Ravalomanana and Mr Rajoelina from running, has failed to placate the opposition. The Economist, "Tension is mounting in Madagascar ahead of elections in November," 10 May 2018 There were times last spring when Dan, after incessant questions from Andrew about where things stood, had to placate his son with lies about interest that simply wasn't there. Tim Bielik, cleveland.com, "Ohio State cornerback Kendall Sheffield sets school record in 60-meter dash," 17 Feb. 2018 Obamacare, by placating the insurance industry, was a quintessential compromise — as was the haggling after the 2008 financial crisis that kept even the most notorious bankers from jail. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "The Cry of the Centrist: In ‘Tailspin,’ Steven Brill Bemoans a Polarized America," 5 June 2018 Since then, Pruitt has adopted a determined strategy to placate the president and lay low. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis, Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "‘A factory of bad ideas’: How Scott Pruitt undermined his mission at EPA," 22 Apr. 2018 That has not placated Spurs' squad, however, who are still thought to deem Levy's bonuses as unnecessary when they aren't being handed pay rises - with the Times report describing senior stars as 'stunned'. SI.com, "Spurs Facing Squad Mutiny Over Wage Structure Amid Excessive Daniel Levy Pay Rise," 4 Apr. 2018 In 1733, the ruling shogun placated his people by supplying gunpowder for a show above the Sumida River in modern Tokyo. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "'Fire Flowers' Dazzle in Gorgeous Photos of Japanese Fireworks," 4 July 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

4 Nov 2018

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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

: 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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