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[pruh-pish-ee-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /prəˈpɪʃ i əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
serving or intended to propitiate.
making propitiation; conciliatory.
Origin of propitiatory
1275-1325; (noun) Middle English propiciatori the mercy seat < Late Latin propitiātōrium (see propitiate, -tory2); (adj.) < Late Latin propitiātōrius (see -tory1)
Related forms
propitiatorily, adverb
unpropitiatory, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for propitiatory
Historical Examples
  • You see I have not forgotten the custom to bring some propitiatory sacrifice.

    The Elm Tree Tales F. Irene Burge Smith
  • Like many a man before him and after, Smith casts about for a propitiatory wonder.

  • "I bought a book," he said, handing her the propitiatory volume.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • They are used by the Nambūtiri in propitiatory ceremonies to that god.

  • He spoke in his most propitiatory tones, but the committee was still stirred.

    The Candidate Joseph Alexander Altsheler
  • Their presence on the propitiatory was meant to reveal the glory of the gospel.

  • The doctor misunderstands the phrase "propitiatory sacrifice."

  • But what is the propitiatory element in the Christian Atonement?

    My Path to Atheism Annie Besant
  • She addressed herself to Mr. Frost, and her manner was propitiatory.

    Peggy Raymond's Way Harriet Lummis Smith
  • First, it was true; and secondly, he was anxious to be propitiatory, for he had a plan to further.

    The Regent E. Arnold Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for propitiatory


designed or intended to propitiate; conciliatory; expiatory
the mercy seat
Derived Forms
propitiatorily, adverb
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 propitiatory

c.1300 (n.) "the mercy seat," from Late Latin propitiatorium (translating Greek hilasterion in Bible); noun use of neuter singular of propitiatorius "atoning, reconciling," from propitiatus, past participle of propitiare (see propitiation). As an adjective in English from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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