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

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Other Words from placid

placidity \ pla-​ˈsi-​də-​tē How to pronounce placidity (audio) , plə-​ \ noun
placidly \ ˈpla-​səd-​lē How to pronounce placidly (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 And then there's the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, a car that's utterly placid in the right lane. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet: Fast Headroom," 16 Apr. 2020 Yet four or five blocks from the fighting, the group of men reacted to their captivity with placid resolve, inured to war’s chaos. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Living in a war zone: What it teaches about surviving a pandemic," 29 Apr. 2020 This sentiment justified the Obama's administration's early push to pass a sweeping heath care reform bill — something that the last Democratic president (Bill Clinton) had failed to do during more placid times. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "Trump's immigration order is toxic xenophobia. It's also smart politics.," 21 Apr. 2020 So long as that is the case, equity investors are quite willing to expect that central banks will fix economic problems, and politics will fix geopolitical problems -- and that is why equity markets remain quite placid., "Buy the Dip, Wait and See, Add Hedges: Investors on Iran Strike," 5 Apr. 2020 High-frequency traders, meanwhile, have suffered in recent years amid placid financial markets. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "High-frequency traders are winning big thanks to coronavirus disruption," 4 Apr. 2020 In Zhongning county, a placid agricultural stretch of the northwestern Ningxia region known for producing goji berries, authorities set up a pilot police-services work station. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "China Applies Xinjiang’s Policing Lessons to Other Muslim Areas," 23 Dec. 2018 Like old age itself, on the surface Birds might be placid, but there's a lot going on beneath. Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter, "'And the Birds Rained Down' ('Il pleuvait des oiseaux'): Film Review | San Sebastián 2019," 1 Oct. 2019 The relatively placid ads of the 2020 Democratic campaign reflect the risk-averse primary contest, in which candidates have been loath to unleash any negativity on an opponent. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "Missing From Democratic 2020 Ad Wars: Attacks on Rivals," 5 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for placid

Time Traveler

The first known use of placid was in 1626

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Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Placid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for placid


How to pronounce placid (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on placid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for placid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with placid

Spanish Central: Translation of placid

Nglish: Translation of placid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of placid for Arabic Speakers

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