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 But immigration groups, which have been bracing for the order for days, argue that Trump is targeting immigrants to placate his political base. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump to issue executive order limiting temporary work visas," 23 June 2020 That explanation should not placate religious conservatives, Hawley added. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Josh Hawley condemns 'legal conservative effort' for betraying religious conservatives," 16 June 2020 So priests offered special decorations, including garlands of acidic lemons believed to placate the goddesses. Tulasi Srinivas, The Conversation, "India’s goddesses of contagion provide protection in the pandemic – just don’t make them angry," 15 June 2020 That belated show of political support seemingly did little to placate pro-China voices. Mary Hui, Quartz, "HSBC is China’s perfect victim," 11 June 2020 The apologies did little to placate those calling for Moore's job. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore apologizes after saying George Floyd's death is on the 'hands' of looters," 3 June 2020 But in trying to placate everyone, Zuckerberg has failed to appease anyone. Mike Isaac, BostonGlobe.com, "Zuckerberg defends hands-off approach to Trump’s posts," 2 June 2020 New Mexico and Arizona were still U.S. territories, and one of his early assignments was to kill bears, mountain lions, and wolves in Arizona’s Apache National Forest to placate the ranchers, who loathed the animals. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "Getting Lost in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness," 2 June 2020 In seeking to placate bail reform opponents, the changes just pushed through expand courts’ ability to deny bail. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "The Shock Doctrine Came for Bail Reform," 7 Apr. 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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Placate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/placate. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on placate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for placate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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