[pees-fuh l]
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  1. characterized by peace; free from war, strife, commotion, violence, or disorder: a peaceful reign; a peaceful demonstration.
  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of a state or time of peace.
  3. peaceable; not argumentative, quarrelsome, or hostile: a peaceful disposition.

Origin of peaceful

First recorded in 1250–1300, peaceful is from the Middle English word pesful. See peace, -ful
Related formspeace·ful·ly, adverbpeace·ful·ness, nounqua·si-peace·ful, adjectivequa·si-peace·ful·ly, adverbsem·i·peace·ful, adjectivesem·i·peace·ful·ly, adverbun·peace·ful, adjectiveun·peace·ful·ly, adverb
Can be confusedpeaceable peaceful (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for peaceful

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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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for peaceful

Contemporary Examples of peaceful

Historical Examples of peaceful

  • A rapid walk soon restored the maidens to their own peaceful homes.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • They had no children and this settlement assured them a peaceful old age.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • The world beholds the peaceful triumphs of the industry of our emigrants.

  • And yet it was a coward's blow, and one to stir the blood and loose the tongue of the most peaceful.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • I am a peaceful trader, and I am not wont to be so shouted at upon so small a matter.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for peaceful


  1. not in a state of war or disagreement
  2. tranquil; calm
  3. not involving violencepeaceful picketing
  4. of, relating to, or in accord with a time of peacepeaceful uses of atomic energy
  5. inclined towards peace
Derived Formspeacefully, adverbpeacefulness, 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

Word Origin and History for peaceful

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