pro·​pi·​ti·​a·​tion | \ prō-ˌpi-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce propitiation (audio) \

Definition of propitiation

1 : the act of gaining or regaining the favor or goodwill of someone or something : the act of propitiating : appeasement a sacrifice in propitiation of the gods … she showed every possible desire to conciliate him, and there was an air of humble propitiation in all she did, such as I have seen pervade the bearing of a child towards a hard master.— Charles Dickens
2 : something that propitiates or appeases specifically : an atoning sacrifice

Examples of propitiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many customs and beliefs, rooted in ancient practices of affecting reality and averting danger by acts of propitiation and protection, are being reinvented—including wayside shrines on the sites of fatal accidents. Marina Warner, The New York Review of Books, "Spellbound," 17 June 2020 The scapegoat, as defined in the Book of Leviticus, is a propitiation. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "The Mental Health Scapegoat," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'propitiation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of propitiation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of propitiation was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Propitiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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