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 Wheeler noted the President is under pressure from some advocacy groups to support expanding the Supreme Court, and said appointing federal judges at a rapid pace could be a way to placate these groups. Kate Sullivan, CNN, 21 July 2021 While the Cheeseheads get a wide receiver to placate Aaron Rodgers, their MVP quarterback, the Patriots are able to address their biggest needs in the first two rounds. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Apr. 2021 What’s worse is there are others who don’t really buy any of that, yet placate or encourage the believers in an effort to gain political power. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 July 2021 Male privilege lives on, while women are being redefined out of existence in order to placate a vocal and tiny minority. Star Tribune, 20 June 2021 To placate the authorities and keep its global business running, Apple has put its Chinese customers’ data at risk and aided the Chinese government’s vast censorship operation, The New York Times reported last month. New York Times, 17 June 2021 The House passed the legislation last week, and Senate Democrats altered the bill to placate party moderates and follow Senate rules that that enabled them to pass it without GOP support. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, 8 Mar. 2021 Detractors argue that Khan is little more than a figurehead, meant to placate progressives and antitrust populists while the FTC remains largely ineffective. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, 30 June 2021 Apple also proactively removes apps in an effort to placate the Chinese government. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 18 May 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near placate

placard

placate

placcate

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Last Updated

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Placate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/placate. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on placate

Nglish: Translation of placate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of placate for Arabic Speakers

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