Synonym comparison: A number of words mean "calm someone who is or may become angry or upset". Three common words are "mollify", "placate", and "pacify". Each of the words has a slightly different connotation.
"Mollify" may be the most neutral of the words in terms of the definition above. As compared to "mollify", "placate" is more likely to imply that concessions were made and/or that anger was successfully replaced with goodwill. "Pacify" definitely implies success in creating a peaceful state.
These were the people we had come to save, to pacify.
Walter Dean Myers -- Fallen Angels
That he and the others were being pacified, slowly being led to another shock like the one they’d had when they awakened in the dormitory after being rescued from the Maze.
James Dashner -- The Scorch Trials
It made him sick to pacify the Rat Man, but it was the only thing he could think to say to buy himself time.
James Dashner -- The Death Cure
Hoping it might pacify him and allow her to get back to work, she went further.
Dave Eggers -- The Circle
Then Miss Peregrine, apparently impatient to pacify Claire, took one edge of the book’s cover in her beak and opened it to a seemingly random chapter.
Ransom Riggs -- Hollow City
Kote made a pacifying gesture with the hand that held the spoon.
Patrick Rothfuss -- The Name of the Wind
She whirled back toward Clancy, who had put two pacifying hands on her shoulders.
Alexandra Bracken -- The Darkest Minds
He was calmer but, she knew, still deranged; curious, she thought, how in this present pacified form of his derangement he seemed no longer so frightening and menacing, despite the unequivocal menace of the cyanide capsule six inches from her eyes.
William Styron -- Sophie’s Choice
He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.
Chinua Achebe -- Things Fall Apart
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Pearl, seeing the rose-bushes, began to cry for a red rose, and would not be pacified.
Nathaniel Hawthorne -- The Scarlet Letter
You see we were quite right to pacify that country.
Alexandre Dumas -- The Count of Monte Cristo
I tried to pacify her, and at last succeeded, and she lay quiet.
Bram Stoker -- Dracula
To pacify her I held the casement ajar a few seconds.
Emily Bronte -- Wuthering Heights
"Harry," Hermione began, in a pacifying sort of voice.
J.K. Rowling -- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Meantime, Teta Elzbieta would go and beg, over in the Hyde Park district, and the children would bring home enough to pacify Aniele, and keep them all alive.
Upton Sinclair -- The Jungle
Sir Henry had to assure him that it was not so and pacify him by giving him a considerable part of his old wardrobe, the London outfit having now all arrived.
Arthur Conan Doyle -- The Hound of the Baskervilles
The conductor’s been trying to pacify her.
Agatha Christie -- Murder On The Orient Express
Discovering, while scuffling with an enemy at a circus, that adults would give quarters to fighting kids to pacify them, Louie declared a truce with the enemy and they cruised around staging brawls before strangers.
Laura Hillenbrand -- Unbroken
Lay my bead on the railroad line, Train come along, pacify my mind.
Toni Morrison -- Beloved
’Well, well,’ replied the Jew, with an attempt at pacification; ’and, if you have, it’s your living!’
Charles Dickens -- Oliver Twist
While I waited, every nerve shouted out to be pacified.
Ellen Hopkins -- Burned
Haley stood there in very ill humor, having ridden hard the night before, and being not at all pacified by his ill success in recapturing his prey.
Harriet Beecher Stowe -- Uncle Tom’s Cabin
I pacified myself about his whiteness by saying that after all he had been dead so long it couldn’t matter to anyone any more.
Maya Angelou -- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
And now you got tuh die tuh find out dat you got tuh pacify somebody besides yo’self if you wants any love and any sympathy in dis world.
Zora Neale Hurston -- Their Eyes Were Watching God
He wanted to hold the troops, make sacrifice, a hekatomb, something to pacify Athena’s rage.
Homer -- The Odyssey
He pacified his conscience by promising himself a compensatingly harder self-discipline, purifications the more complete and thorough.
Aldous Huxley -- Brave New World
… This did not pacify me.
Stephenie Meyer -- Breaking Dawn
The First, Fifth, among other units, was ordered in to pacify the escalating violence since the fall of Baghdad the year before.
Nicholas Sparks -- The Lucky One
As he tried to pacify a clump of sheep, Roran glanced up at the terrible black shadow that still obscured the moon, like a giant bat.
Christopher Paolini -- Eldest
You drain me of money till I have got nothing to pacifyher with, and she’ll do as she threatens some day.
George Eliot -- Silas Marner
With this he pacified them, and again asked the goatherd if it would be possible to find Cardenio, as he felt the greatest anxiety to know the end of his story.
Miguel de Cervantes -- Don Quixote
Edward’s voice was pacifying.
Stephenie Meyer -- Eclipse
He had been unwilling to go to bed and had made a scene; whereupon she had taken charge of him and pacified him as well as she could.
Kate Chopin -- The Awakening
Nevertheless, my mind was not pacified; and full of a restless curiosity, at last I returned to the door.
Herman Melville -- Bartleby, the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street
It pacified me, in fact, so much, that I did not raise an alarm.
Joseph Conrad -- Heart of Darkness
The old prince knew that if he told his daughter she was making a mistake and that Anatole meant to flirt with Mademoiselle Bourienne, Princess Mary’s self-esteem would be wounded and his point (not to be parted from her) would be gained, so pacifying himself with this thought, he called Tikhon and began to undress.
Leo Tolstoy -- War and Peace
The mission of His Holiness which I represent is one of pacification, not of revenge.
T. H. White -- The Once and Future King
She found Jose there pacifying the cook, who did not look at all terrifying.
Thomas C. Foster -- How to Read Literature Like a Professor
It would have been easier to pacify her had we not ourselves suffered from quite a residue of childhood apprehensions, or had we been able to advance some real idea of the region to set against its morbid reputation.
John Wyndham -- The Chrysalids
No one could pacify him.
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston -- Farewell to Manzanar
Ay, but he will not now be pacified: Fabian can scarce hold him yonder.
William Shakespeare -- Twelfth Night
Meg flew to rescue Amy, and Beth to pacify Jo, but Jo was quite beside herself, and with a parting box on her sister’s ear, she rushed out of the room up to the old sofa in the garret, and finished her fight alone.
Louisa May Alcott -- Little Women
A BURIAL; AN OCCASION TO BE BORN AGAIN In the spring of 1832, although the cholera had been chilling all minds for the last three months and had cast over their agitation an indescribable and gloomy pacification, Paris had already long been ripe for commotion.
Victor Hugo -- Les Miserables
Harry put on his pyjamas, took off his glasses and climbed into his chilly bed while Ron threw Owl Treats up on top of the wardrobe to pacify Hedwig and Pigwidgeon, who were clattering around and rustling their wings restlessly.
J.K. Rowling -- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
We could see Brother Bedenberry talking to him, trying to pacify him quiet, and him jerking at Brother Bedenberry and slapping his face with his hand.
William Faulkner -- Light in August
Darya Alexandrovna meanwhile having pacified the child, and knowing from the sound of the carriage that he had gone off, went back again to her bedroom.
Leo Tolstoy -- Anna Karenina
The Hielands are what they call pacified.
Robert Louis Stevenson -- Kidnapped
So that she herself began trying to pacify and comfort him.