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[pas-uh-fahy] /ˈpæs əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), pacified, pacifying.
to bring or restore to a state of peace or tranquillity; quiet; calm:
to pacify an angry man.
to appease:
to pacify one's appetite.
to reduce to a state of submission, especially by military force; subdue.
Origin of pacify
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Latin pācificāre to make peace. See pacific, -fy
Related forms
pacifiable, adjective
pacifyingly, adverb
nonpacifiable, adjective
repacify, verb (used with object), repacified, repacifying.
unpacifiable, adjective
unpacified, adjective
2. soothe, mollify, assuage.
2. anger, enrage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pacify
  • For now everybody is trying to pacify the storm-gods, not antagonise them.
  • But we all know this will only pacify them for a short while.
  • Each member of a family tries to pacify a screaming baby.
  • Jaron writes beautiful music to pacify his angst.
  • They are also hoping to organise a jirga, or council of elders, with tribesmen from both sides of the frontier to pacify the area.
  • And while Congress waits, state legislators have taken it upon themselves to pacify their frustrated constituents.
  • To pacify that confusion has become the unspoken task of commercial television.
  • The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.
  • Once you only had to satisfy customers and employees—now you have to pacify stockholders.
  • But unless he manages to pacify the people of the Delta and so secure its pipelines and refineries, the reforms will be in vain.
British Dictionary definitions for pacify


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to calm the anger or agitation of; mollify
to restore to peace or order, esp by the threat or use of force
Derived Forms
pacifiable, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French pacifier; see pacific
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pacify

late 15c., "appease, allay the anger of (someone)," from Middle French pacifier "make peace," from Latin pacificare "to make peace; pacify," from pacificus (see pacific). Of countries or regions, "to bring to a condition of calm," c.1500, from the start with suggestions of submission and terrorization. Related: Pacified; pacifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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