1 a : to allay the anger or agitation of : soothe
2 a : to restore to a tranquil state : settle
b : to reduce to a submissive state : subdue
Did You Know?
A parent who wants to win a little peace and quiet might give a fussy baby a pacifier. An employer seeking to avoid worker discontent might pay employees well. These actions may seem unrelated, but etymologically speaking, they have a lot in common. Both pacifier and pay are ultimately derived from pax, the Latin word for "peace." As you may have guessed, pax is also the source of our word peace. Pacify comes to us through Middle English pacifien, from the Latin verb pacificare, which derives from pax.
"To check on the health of a colony of bees it is usually necessary to open the hive, a procedure which involves using smoke to pacify the bees." — The Economist, 31 Mar. 2018
"In the areas that were hardest for the army to pacify, former residents and monitoring groups report a rising tide of arrests." — Louisa Loveluck, The Washington Post, 27 May 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of pacify: SGEAUSA.VIEW THE ANSWER
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