9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pees-fuh l] /ˈpis fəl/
characterized by peace; free from war, strife, commotion, violence, or disorder:
a peaceful reign; a peaceful demonstration.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a state or time of peace.
peaceable; not argumentative, quarrelsome, or hostile:
a peaceful disposition.
Origin of peaceful
1250-1300; Middle English pesful. See peace, -ful
Related forms
peacefully, adverb
peacefulness, noun
quasi-peaceful, adjective
quasi-peacefully, adverb
semipeaceful, adjective
semipeacefully, adverb
unpeaceful, adjective
unpeacefully, adverb
Can be confused
peaceable, peaceful (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Peaceful, placid, serene, tranquil refer to what is characterized by lack of strife or agitation. Peaceful today is rarely applied to persons; it refers to situations, scenes, and activities free of disturbances or, occasionally, of warfare: a peaceful life. Placid, serene, tranquil are used mainly of persons; when used of things (usually elements of nature) there is a touch of personification. Placid suggests an unruffled calm that verges on complacency: a placid disposition; a placid stream. Serene is a somewhat nobler word; when used of persons it suggests dignity, composure, and graciousness: a serene old man; when applied to nature there is a suggestion of mellowness: the serene landscapes of autumn. Tranquil implies a command of emotions, often because of strong faith, which keeps one unagitated even in the midst of excitement or danger. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for peacefully
  • She's the world's best car traveler, content to sit peacefully in the backseat looking around at the world whizzing by her.
  • Perhaps now,so many years later the spirits of those perished so long ago,can finally rest peacefully in their eternal slumber.
  • Hopefully, things will turn positive and you will get your point across peacefully and without pain.
  • Pushy, know-it-all busybodies who cannot manage to peacefully convince others.
  • They did not peacefully co-exist in the same environment.
  • Humans definitely possess the capacity to find its niche peacefully in nature.
  • Witch could solve our many problems much faster and more peacefully.
  • We even have two cats that regularly boss her around and coexist peacefully with her.
  • Needless to say he did not succeed and she died peacefully, though some might say unnecessarily.
  • They peacefully honed their bodies and listened to music there.
British Dictionary definitions for peacefully


not in a state of war or disagreement
tranquil; calm
not involving violence: peaceful picketing
of, relating to, or in accord with a time of peace: peaceful uses of atomic energy
inclined towards peace
Derived Forms
peacefully, adverb
peacefulness, noun
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 peacefully



early 14c., "inclined to peace, friendly, pacific," from peace + -ful. Meaning "tranquil, calm, full of peace" is from mid-14c. In reference to nonviolent methods of effecting social change, it is attested from 1876. Related: Peacefully; peacefulness. Peaceful coexistence (1920) originally was in regard to Soviet policy toward the capitalist West.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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