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Latin propitiāre (make favourable), from propitius (favourable, gracious).


  • IPA(key): /ˌpɹəˈpɪʃieɪt/


propitiate (third-person singular simple present propitiates, present participle propitiating, simple past and past participle propitiated)

  1. (transitive) To conciliate, appease, or make peace with someone, particularly a god or spirit.
    • 1720, Alexander Pope, The Iliad of Homer, Book 1, lines 191-192:
      Let fierce Achilles, dreadful in his rage,
      The god propitiate, and the pest assuage.
    • 1849, Herman Melville, Mardi, Vol. 2, ch. 25:
      But polite and politic it is, to propitiate your hostess.
    • 1910, Henry De Vere Stacpoole, The Pools of Silence, ch. 30:
      [H]e heard . . . one of the soldiers singing as he cleaned his rifle—the men always sang over this business, as if to propitiate the gun god.
    • 2001 Sept. 30, Thom Shanker, "Who Will Fight This War?," New York Times (retrieved 21 April 2015):
      By saying unequivocally that conscription is not an option, the Bush administration and the Rumsfeld Pentagon, while propitiating the ghost of Vietnam, are also profiting from the success of the all-volunteer military.


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