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 As mealtime wound down, the monkeys began to groom each other—their way to not only eliminate parasites but also placate a superior or form an alliance. Maciek Pożoga, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Japan’s Wild Snow Monkeys Can Teach Us About Animal Culture," 5 Jan. 2021 Still, raising these objections will give lawmakers—particularly those who are eyeing presidential runs and want to placate Trump’s devoted voters—an opportunity to prove their fealty by echoing his unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud. Alana Abramson, Time, "Congressional Republicans Won't Overturn Biden's Win. But Their Objections Are Still Dangerous," 5 Jan. 2021 In part to placate the Chinese, the 747s that were sent to collect Americans were filled with eighteen tons of P.P.E., including masks, gowns, and gauze. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, "The Plague Year," 28 Dec. 2020 The reality in today’s NBA is you either placate your players or have to deal with the consequences. sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Would waiting game be dangerous for Heat?," 13 Dec. 2020 That didn't placate some members of the party leadership who wanted firmer action to root out extreme elements from the youth wing. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, "Dutch populist Baudet suggests splitting party he created," 26 Nov. 2020 While the prime minister on Tuesday didn’t say how far the government could go in meeting the demands, the parliament may move forward the process of constitutional amendment to placate the protesters. Randy Thanthong-knight, Bloomberg.com, "Thai Cabinet Approves Parliament Session to Discuss Protests," 20 Oct. 2020 The truth is Del Conte saw an opportunity to placate fans and score a personal win by dismissing a coach hired before his arrival and swapping in a future Hall of Famer. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Botched Urban Meyer pursuit one more storm for Chris Del Conte to weather," 18 Dec. 2020 Public controversy of course ensued, and when Bruce refused to apologize, Shakespeare had to fire him to placate Fulbright. Arnold Steinberg, National Review, "Bruce Herschensohn, R.I.P.," 2 Dec. 2020

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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Placate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/placate. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for placate

placate

verb
How to pronounce placate (audio) How to pronounce placate (audio)

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

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

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