propitiate was our Word of the Day on 11/14/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of propitiate in a Sentence
He made an offering to propitiate the angry gods.
the temple was once the site of sacrifices—both to honor the gods in times of plenty and to propitiate them in times of trouble
Recent Examples of propitiate from the Web
Soon after Kuchibhotla’s murder, a commentator in India a grave irony: in the run-up to the 2016 election, a number of right-leaning American Hindus , not only with donations but also with elaborate prayer ceremonies to propitiate the gods.
In interviews, the inhabitants complained that rocks being blasted off the mountains were falling on their homes and angering the local neak ta, who had to be propitiated with offerings of roast pigs.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'propitiate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Like its synonym "appease," propitiate means "to ease the anger or disturbance of," but there are subtle differences between the two terms as well. "Appease" usually implies quieting insistent demands by making concessions, whereas "propitiate" tends to suggest averting the anger or malevolence of a superior being. In fact, "propitiate" often occurs - as in our first example sentence - in contexts involving deities, spirits, or other preternatural forces. You might "appease" your hunger, but to speak more colorfully, you could "propitiate the gods of hunger."
Origin and Etymology of propitiate
Latin propitiatus, past participle of propitiare, from propitius propitious
First Known Use: 1583See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of propitiate
PROPITIATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of propitiate for English Language Learners
: to make (someone) pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired
Seen and Heard
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