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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

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 In the middle is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, dithering between his green supporters and his desire to placate Alberta and keep its money flowing. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Green Politics and Global Instability," 22 Jan. 2019 But who is bending the president’s ear to split the Western alliance and placate Russia? Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 Later that evening, fans must choose between placating their inner indie sad-dad with the National (8 p.m.) or indulging their inner emo/pop-loving teen with Paramore (8:05 p.m.). Terence Cawley, BostonGlobe.com, "Too many choices at Boston Calling? Here’s some help.," 23 May 2018 Reports of Rafa Benitez's budget are considerably lower than the fee touted for Plea, therefore, many Newcastle fans believe this signing is all talk, with Ashley merely trying to placate fans with false transfer rumours. SI.com, "'Clearly Not': Newcastle United Fans React to Reported Big Money Move for Ligue 1 Forward," 2 July 2018 At the highest levels of the Justice Department, Huber’s review has been considered to be little more than a publicity or political stunt to placate Trump. Murray Waas, Vox, "Exclusive: Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker was counseling the White House on investigating Clinton," 9 Nov. 2018 Spirit is the latest to embrace in-flight Wi-Fi access, for both its revenue-generating and passenger-placating attributes. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "Even Discount Airlines Are Adding Wi-Fi as Big Rivals Bare Their Fangs," 12 May 2018 But now that’s forcing them to walk a fine line in the months before midterm elections between placating constituents who are angry over education cuts and conservative supporters who want a smaller government and low taxes. Sean Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "Oklahoma’s Fallin: Striking teachers like teenagers," 5 Apr. 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

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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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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

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