verb (used with object), pac·i·fied, pac·i·fy·ing.

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

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin pācificāre to make peace. See pacific, -fy
Related formspac·i·fi·a·ble, adjectivepac·i·fy·ing·ly, adverbnon·pac·i·fi·a·ble, adjectivere·pac·i·fy, verb (used with object), re·pac·i·fied, re·pac·i·fy·ing.un·pac·i·fi·a·ble, adjectiveun·pac·i·fied, adjective

Synonyms for pacify

Antonyms for pacify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pacify

Contemporary Examples of pacify

Historical Examples of pacify

  • But, how, on this revocation of my appointment, shall I be able to pacify him?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I attempted to pacify her by an indefinite reply to her inquiries, but in vain.

    Theresa Marchmont

    Mrs Charles Gore

  • I wiped his eyes with his frock, told him he was all right and called Sancho to pacify him.

  • These he dumped out and, to pacify the man, handed the paper to him with his own pencil.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • So Arnold hastened to try and pacify the anger that he had inadvertently roused.

    The Fiery Totem

    Argyll Saxby

British Dictionary definitions for pacify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)

to calm the anger or agitation of; mollify
to restore to peace or order, esp by the threat or use of force
Derived Formspacifiable, adjective

Word Origin for pacify

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

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