plac·​id | \ ˈpla-səd How to pronounce placid (audio) \

Definition of placid

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from placid

placidity \ pla-​ˈsi-​də-​tē How to pronounce placid (audio) , plə-​ \ noun
placidly \ ˈpla-​səd-​lē How to pronounce placid (audio) \ 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 His placid prose is as cooling and seductive as always — that is, until the ghastly twist. Hillary Kelly, Vulture, "The Best Books of the Year (So Far)," 16 Apr. 2021 And Uys’s portrait of the San as living in placid isolation? Daniel Immerwahr, The New Republic, "Paleo Con," 24 Mar. 2021 The ones who unhappily subscribe to the Hollywood notion that great art requires suffering, those who engineer chaos when their lives get too placid, generally don’t last. Howard Fishman, The New Yorker, "The Film That Jazz Deserves," 7 Apr. 2021 But this weekend, that placid image was upended as a long-simmering rift between the king, Abdullah II, and a former crown prince, Hamzah bin Hussein, burst into the public eye. New York Times, "Divided Kingdom: Jordan Shaken by Split Between King and Ex-Crown Prince," 4 Apr. 2021 Lawmen yesterday routed the youth invasions that had engulfed this normally placid desert resort. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: The 1969 youth invasion of Palm Springs," 4 Apr. 2021 For months, Echo Park Lake, a 29-acre oasis of palm trees and walking paths centered around a placid reservoir, served as Los Angeles’s most unusual — and controversial — homeless encampment. Washington Post, "The closure of the Echo Lake’s homeless encampment leaves residents bereft: ‘We’re just trying to suck it up’," 26 Mar. 2021 Daniel Island is a contradiction—the community is placid and active all at the same time. Spencer Elliott, Forbes, "Charleston’s Daniel Island: Expansive Yet Intimate Southern Living," 27 Feb. 2021 Cottages on the estate as well as the antebellum mansion were turned into a retreat center and event space set amidst regal cypress trees and placid ponds. Jeff Chu, Travel + Leisure, "4 Food and Agriculture Projects Tackling Climate Change, Employment, Biodiversity, and More," 18 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about placid

Listen to Our Podcast about placid

Statistics for placid

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Placid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce placid (audio) \

Kids Definition of placid

: calm and peaceful a placid face a placid lake

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!