Synonyms & Antonyms of pacify

2 to bring under one's control by force of arms
  • additional ground forces were needed to occupy those areas that had already been pacified

Synonyms for pacify

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Frequently Asked Questions About pacify

How does the verb pacify differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of pacify are appease, conciliate, mollify, placate, and propitiate. While all these words mean "to ease the anger or disturbance of," pacify suggests a soothing or calming.

pacified by a sincere apology

Where would appease be a reasonable alternative to pacify?

The words appease and pacify can be used in similar contexts, but appease implies quieting insistent demands by making concessions.

appease their territorial ambitions

When is conciliate a more appropriate choice than pacify?

The meanings of conciliate and pacify largely overlap; however, conciliate suggests ending an estrangement by persuasion, concession, or settling of differences.

conciliating the belligerent nations

When could mollify be used to replace pacify?

The words mollify and pacify are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, mollify implies soothing hurt feelings or rising anger.

a speech that mollified the demonstrators

When might placate be a better fit than pacify?

In some situations, the words placate and pacify are roughly equivalent. However, placate suggests changing resentment or bitterness to goodwill.

a move to placate local opposition

When is it sensible to use propitiate instead of pacify?

Although the words propitiate and pacify have much in common, propitiate implies averting anger or malevolence especially of a superior being.

propitiated his parents by dressing up

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

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Cite this Entry

“Pacify.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pacify

Dictionary: Definition of pacify

Spanish Central: Translation of pacify

Nglish: Translation of pacify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pacify for Arabic Speakers

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