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 Massive neutron stars could have had a relatively placid merger, collapsing directly into a black hole before sparking any celestial fireworks. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Did Astronomers Just Discover Black Holes from the Big Bang?," 13 Jan. 2020 Before this, even Tweedy’s most placid ballads shimmered with punk-literate toughness, but those angry sparks begin to recede here. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "After a long, strange trip ... all your indie faves are jam bands now," 6 June 2019 The sea, dark and rarely placid, is deceptively vital. Washington Post, "Exploring the rich grasslands, meadows and wildflowers of Scotland’s Western Isles," 18 Oct. 2019 The sea, dark and rarely placid, is deceptively vital. Adrian Higgins,, "Exploring the wild beauty of Scotland’s Western Isles," 18 Oct. 2019 The cinematography by Chananun Chotrungro is deceptively placid and pretty, the score by An Ton That pretty and heavy-handed. Ty Burr,, "A beguiling and hermetic world in ‘The Third Wife’," 3 July 2019 The plaster statues were placid-looking, topless women kneeling and resting their arms on their knees. Bradley Zint,, "Laguna college removes ‘kneeling women’ statues after 10 years at front of campus," 21 Mar. 2018 The jolt to the stock market this week stood out after three straight months of placid trading and incremental gains. Katie Rogers, New York Times, "Trump Inflames the Trade Wars, Again," 3 Dec. 2019 Tran goes to join the few women still bobbing in the dark, placid water. Jessica Wapner, Quartz, "Vietnamese women are hit harder by climate change—but they’re starting to fight back," 1 Dec. 2019

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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Placid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 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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