Synonyms & Antonyms of propitiate

to lessen the anger or agitation of
  • 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

Synonyms for propitiate

Words Related to propitiate

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Antonyms for propitiate

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Frequently Asked Questions About propitiate

How does the verb propitiate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of propitiate are appease, conciliate, mollify, pacify, and placate. While all these words mean "to ease the anger or disturbance of," propitiate implies averting anger or malevolence especially of a superior being.

propitiated his parents by dressing up

When is it sensible to use appease instead of propitiate?

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

appease their territorial ambitions

When can conciliate be used instead of propitiate?

In some situations, the words conciliate and propitiate are roughly equivalent. However, conciliate suggests ending an estrangement by persuasion, concession, or settling of differences.

conciliating the belligerent nations

Where would mollify be a reasonable alternative to propitiate?

While the synonyms mollify and propitiate are close in meaning, mollify implies soothing hurt feelings or rising anger.

a speech that mollified the demonstrators

When might pacify be a better fit than propitiate?

The words pacify and propitiate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, pacify suggests a soothing or calming.

pacified by a sincere apology

When could placate be used to replace propitiate?

The synonyms placate and propitiate are sometimes interchangeable, but placate suggests changing resentment or bitterness to goodwill.

a move to placate local opposition

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Time Traveler for propitiate

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The first known use of propitiate was in 1583

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Cite this Entry

“Propitiate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on propitiate

Nglish: Translation of propitiate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of propitiate for Arabic Speakers


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