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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from placate

placater noun
placatingly \ ˈplā-​ˌkā-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce placatingly (audio) , ˈpla-​ \ adverb
placation \ plā-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce placation (audio) , pla-​ \ noun
placative \ ˈplā-​ˌkā-​tiv How to pronounce placative (audio) , ˈpla-​ \ adjective
placatory \ ˈplā-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce placatory (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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps as a way to placate the military hardliners, who may have had misgivings about this person who was supposedly a marshal, yet had not spent any time at all in the military. CBS News, "Transcript: Anna Fifield talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 19 June 2019 Her concessions aren’t likely to placate protesters, and people have continued to demonstrate around Lam’s office today (June 17). Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s industrious, loyal—and hugely out of touch—leader is on her last legs," 17 June 2019 Is that enough to placate the rabid (and vocal) Final Fantasy VIII fans? Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Square Enix's E3 2019 event: Avengers, Dying Light 2, and Final Fantasy games galore," 10 June 2019 Moustahsane stepping into the presidential seat for up to nine months is seen by some skeptics as a tactic to placate the IOC before a Rakhimov return. Graham Dunbar, The Seattle Times, "Boxing’s new leader steps into fight to keep Olympic status," 12 Apr. 2019 There was no base to placate or excite in the hours of Charlottesville. CBS News, "Book excerpt: Jim Acosta's "The Enemy of the People"," 7 June 2019 Today, most have converted to Hinduism or Christianity, though their old nature gods are not forgotten: Marang Buru, a mountain deity who controls the rains, is placated with animal sacrifices. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Millions of indigenous people face eviction from their forest homes," 15 May 2019 Ever since Trump announced his candidacy with a burst of anti-Mexican rhetoric, Peña Nieto has tried to placate him, with embarrassing results. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "A New Revolution in Mexico," 25 June 2012 The ruling party may be banking on stronger growth this year boosting income, allowing it to provide relief and placate voters in next year’s budget. Michael Cohen, Bloomberg.com, "Ramaphosa Takes Tax Gamble as South Africa Targets Debt," 21 Feb. 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

1 Jul 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

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.

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

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
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!