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

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'., "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 Ultimately, they were placated by promises of a timely vote and adherence to some of the technical guarantees demanded by a Conservative rebel, Dominic Grieve, about what happens if a Brexit deal proves to be unacceptable to Parliament. Stephen Castle,, "Facing defeat on Brexit, Theresa May gives ground to UK’s Parliament," 13 June 2018 Macron, who has bent over backwards to flatter and placate Trump, has found his efforts unrewarded. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Fulfilling Russia’s Dream of Splitting the Western Alliance," 8 June 2018 In a best-case scenario for Facebook, such small gestures of support and moves to self-regulate will placate lawmakers enough to hold back strict regulation. Tracey Lien,, "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows support for the idea of regulation — but not the particulars," 11 Apr. 2018 Budget Pangs Earlier this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented a budget that boosted spending in a bid to placate angry voters before next year’s general election., "India's RBI Lost Its Only Dove as Talk of Rate Hike Swirls," 21 Feb. 2018 YouTube has stripped advertising from many channels to placate companies whose ads ran in front of videos deemed inappropriate. Lucas Shaw,, "YouTube Is Offering a Talent Option to Sell Subscriptions," 22 June 2018 Over the last several months, YouTube has had to reckon with how to placate advertisers without alienating their homegrown talent base. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, "YouTube Apologizes for Logan Paul Video: "Suicide Is Not a Joke"," 9 Jan. 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

7 Oct 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



English Language Learners Definition of placate

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


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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Comments on placate

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