adjective plac·id \ ˈpla-səd \
|Updated on: 17 Aug 2018

Definition of placid

: serenely free of interruption or disturbance
  • placid skies
  • a placid disposition
; also : complacent 1


play \pla-ˈsi-də-tē, plə-\ noun


play \ˈpla-səd-lē\ adverb



placid was our Word of the Day on 11/25/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of placid in a Sentence

  1. a person with a sunny, placid disposition

  2. the placid surface of the lake

Recent Examples of placid from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'placid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

What is the Difference Between placid, calm, tranquil, and serene?

Like placid, the words calm, tranquil, and serene all mean "quiet and free from disturbance." Calm conveys a quiet composure that contrasts with surrounding chaos, while tranquil suggests a very deep quietude and peace. Serene is loftier still, carrying a sense of utter peace and happiness. Though placid traces back to Latin placēre, meaning "to please," it isn't always as positive a term as its synonyms. It can imply a lack of agitation rather than a true peace, and it sometimes suggests excessive self-satisfaction or even stupidity.

Origin and Etymology of placid

Latin placidus, from placēre to please — more at please

Synonym Discussion of placid

calm, tranquil, serene, placid, peaceful mean quiet and free from disturbance. calm often implies a contrast with a foregoing or nearby state of agitation or violence.
    • the protests ended, and the streets were calm again
tranquil suggests a very deep quietude or composure.
    • the tranquil beauty of a formal garden
serene stresses an unclouded and lofty tranquility.
    • watched the sunset of a serene summer's evening
placid suggests an undisturbed appearance and often implies a degree of complacency.
    • remained placid despite the criticism
peaceful implies a state of repose in contrast with or following strife or turmoil.
    • grown peaceful in old age

PLACID Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of placid for English Language Learners

  • : not easily upset or excited

  • : not moving much : calm and steady

PLACID Defined for Kids


adjective plac·id \ ˈpla-səd \

Definition of placid for Students

: calm and peaceful
  • a placid face
  • a placid lake

Seen and Heard

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fullness to the point of excess

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