plac·​id | \ ˈpla-səd How to pronounce placid (audio) \

Definition of placid

: serenely free of interruption or disturbance placid skies a placid disposition also : complacent sense 1

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Other Words from placid

placidity \ pla-​ˈsi-​də-​tē How to pronounce placid (audio) , plə-​ \ noun
placidly \ ˈpla-​səd-​lē How to pronounce placid (audio) \ adverb
placidness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for placid

calm, tranquil, serene, placid, peaceful mean quiet and free from disturbance. calm often implies a contrast with a foregoing or nearby state of agitation or violence. the protests ended, and the streets were calm again tranquil suggests a very deep quietude or composure. the tranquil beauty of a formal garden serene stresses an unclouded and lofty tranquility. watched the sunset of a serene summer's evening placid suggests an undisturbed appearance and often implies a degree of complacency. remained placid despite the criticism peaceful implies a state of repose in contrast with or following strife or turmoil. grown peaceful in old age

What is the Difference Between placid, calm, tranquil, and serene?

Like placid, the words calm, tranquil, and serene all mean "quiet and free from disturbance." Calm conveys a quiet composure that contrasts with surrounding chaos, while tranquil suggests a very deep quietude and peace. Serene is loftier still, carrying a sense of utter peace and happiness. Though placid traces back to Latin placēre, meaning "to please," it isn't always as positive a term as its synonyms. It can imply a lack of agitation rather than a true peace, and it sometimes suggests excessive self-satisfaction or even stupidity.

Examples of placid in a Sentence

a person with a sunny, placid disposition the placid surface of the lake
Recent Examples on the Web The skald led us in song, our voices booming across the placid waters, thundering in our veins. Jess Grey, Wired, 16 Oct. 2021 Like generations of investigators, Manzella had been moved by a photo of Linda that had hung in the Newport Beach Police Department all those years, her serene smile and placid blue eyes a haunting reminder of justice denied her for so long. Gayane Keshishyan Mendez, CBS News, 15 Oct. 2021 Sister Rice’s slight frame and placid persona belied the physical undertaking of her intrusion at Y-12 and the magnitude of its repercussions. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2021 Their ride-hail driver exited congested Interstate 95 and wound up on a residential street in Larchmont, N.Y., where a normally placid brook had become a raging river that flooded nearby roads. Scott Calvert, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2021 This community along the normally placid Rahway River experienced major flooding when Ida arrived in the Northeast with furious rainfall that in places topped 8 inches (20 centimeters) Wednesday and Thursday., 4 Sep. 2021 This community along the normally placid Rahway River experienced major flooding when Ida arrived in the Northeast with furious rainfall that in places topped 8 inches (20 centimeters) Wednesday and Thursday. Wayne Parry,, 4 Sep. 2021 The hopes at the dawn of the 2000s that ushering China into the global economic system would inexorably promote internal political freedoms and a placid global partner foundered. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 17 Sep. 2021 In most years, the justices’ annual recess is a fairly placid time of year. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 1 Sep. 2021

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

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First Known Use of placid

1626, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for placid

Latin placidus, from placēre to please — more at please

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Dictionary Entries Near placid

place value



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Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Placid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for placid



English Language Learners Definition of placid

: not easily upset or excited
: not moving much : calm and steady


plac·​id | \ ˈpla-səd How to pronounce placid (audio) \

Kids Definition of placid

: calm and peaceful a placid face a placid lake

More from Merriam-Webster on placid

Nglish: Translation of placid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of placid for Arabic Speakers


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