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

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 The unpredictable howling winds, which can create surfable white caps across Sand Hollow Reservoir’s usually placid waters, do not stir any trepidation in her. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 May 2022 The posh Portland suburb has long prohibited the public from splashing in the placid waters at the three lakeside parks accessible to anyone. oregonlive, 20 Apr. 2022 For that reason, rising dissatisfaction with education overall suggests there's more turmoil to come even where school politics are relatively placid. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 29 Apr. 2022 In the brutal landscape of what were once placid and prosperous suburbs and satellite towns near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, investigators struggle daily to document evidence of mass atrocities against the people who once lived here. Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2022 The lagoon’s bottle-green surface remained relatively placid as wavelets hit the gondola’s glossy hull with lulling slaps. New York Times, 16 Apr. 2022 It’s just kind of strange to see such a weirdly placid look on her face. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 The riffs are like a submarine—motoring beneath a placid surface, and then breaking it. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 23 Mar. 2022 Underneath that placid surface, some sad-clown stuff lurks, despite Odenkirk’s efforts to compartmentalize it. Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near placid

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Placid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for placid


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

Kids Definition of placid

: calm and peaceful a placid face a placid lake

More from Merriam-Webster on placid

Nglish: Translation of placid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of placid for Arabic Speakers


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