plac·​id | \ˈpla-səd \

Definition of placid 

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

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Other Words from placid

placidity \pla-​ˈsi-​də-​tē, plə-​ \ noun
placidly \ˈpla-​səd-​lē \ adverb
placidness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

Examples of placid in a Sentence

a person with a sunny, placid disposition the placid surface of the lake

Recent Examples on the Web

The nominee was visibly upset at points during his opening statement, a markedly different tone from his placid interview earlier this week with Fox News. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Read: Brett Kavanaugh’s angry, emotional opening statement," 27 Sep. 2018 The contrast of the urban (think graffiti) with the placid (think canal tour boats) is one of the distinct charms of the walk. Melissa Liebling-goldberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Paris Walking Tours," 3 Mar. 2018 Most start out similarly: A protagonist is introduced in a seemingly placid suburban scene, and then disaster — usually of the natural variety — strikes. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 The news arrives at a moment when wishlists are already being edited to include Hay’s newest product, a limited edition Sonos speaker in placid colors like light pink and grey. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "This Cult-Favorite Danish Design Brand Is Finally Launching in the U.S.," 1 Nov. 2018 But a thousand years ago, the community now submerged beneath the lagoon’s placid surface may have supplied salt and dried fish to a network of Maya cities. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Small Mayan saltworks could have supplied thousands, preserved food," 9 Oct. 2018 With placid, turquoise water, few crowds, and impeccable beach club service, this swathe of Sunny Isles Beach is perfect for the family that wants to be pampered. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Best Beaches in Miami," 12 June 2018 The Trump administration’s apparent indifference to European concerns boils the blood of even the most placid of Eurocrats. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Europe Is Feeling Trumped," 21 May 2018 For Vallera, that means creating a rather placid, very minimal record. Britt Julious,, "Michael Vallera' s quest for perfect days ends in beauty," 17 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of placid

1626, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for placid

Latin placidus, from placēre to please — more at please

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Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for placid

The first known use of placid was in 1626

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More Definitions for placid



English Language Learners Definition of placid

: not easily upset or excited

: not moving much : calm and steady


plac·​id | \ˈpla-səd \

Kids Definition of placid

: calm and peaceful a placid face a placid lake

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More from Merriam-Webster on placid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with placid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for placid

Spanish Central: Translation of placid

Nglish: Translation of placid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of placid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on placid

What made you want to look up placid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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