August 13, 2013
placate (verb)
\PLAY-kayt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to calm the anger or bitterness of
How do you use it?
Henry's little brother was angry that he couldn't play with Henry's remote control helicopter and nothing, it seemed, would placate him.
Are you a word wiz?

Which of the following is an example of something that might placate Henry's little brother?

We bet giving him a similar toy to play with calmed Henry's brother right down. If you want to placate someone who's determined to avoid the word "placate" you have a number of options to try, including "appease" and "pacify." "Appease" is often a disapproving word; if you appease someone you calm that person by doing what he or she wants, which can be bad if that person wants something bad. "Pacify" and "placate," on the other hand, are more neutral words. "Pacify" suggests a soothing or calming, and "placate" suggests changing someone's negative feelings to positive ones.
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