Word of the Day

Wednesday, May 23, 2001


\pro-PISH-ee-ayt\ , transitive verb;
To render favorably inclined; to appease; to conciliate (one offended).
Azorka, a black house-dog, probably conscious of his guilt in barking for nothing and anxious to propitiate us, approached us, diffidently wagging his tail.
-- Anton Chekhov, "Lights",
Yet the Fairy Bridge . . . didn't get its name for nothing. Here the locals lift a hand ever so slightly and mutter "Hello, little people," to propitiate the fairies underneath.
-- Helen Gibson, "Rewards and Fairies", Time Europe, April 30, 2001
Cultivated pagans long survived but retreated to form private societies, practicing secret rites to propitiate the gods to avert drought or earthquake from their home cities.
-- Henry Chadwick, "Greasing the 4th-Century Palm", New York Times, November 15, 1992
Propitiate derives from Latin propitius, "favorable."
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