For example...

"She was enchanted by the beautiful house and appeasing countryside."

  • 3
    We would speak of an appealing feature, say the way a baby laughs. Appeasing is a matter of placating someone, apologising if I have made someone angry. I think you may be confusing the two words.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 9, 2017 at 21:18
  • I think that appease probably used to have much the same range of senses as mollify or placate, which is to say that it might have been used in a figurative way to describe an action that calms or eases an angry or demanding person or impulse. But repeated employment of appease in a political sense—most notably in connection with attempts by liberal democracies to accommodate Hitler's high-handed actions in the years prior to World War II—has probably ruined the word's usefulness in neutral figurative contexts, at least for the immediate future.
    – Sven Yargs
    Dec 9, 2017 at 22:03

2 Answers 2


One could use it in such a way, but it would be highly unusual. To "appease" implies

trying to preserve or obtain peace

(from dictionary.com). Of course, the meaning and implications are different than "appealing", as "appealing" implies something that brings happiness to the spirit or senses. Still, if one were seeking verbal color and originality, and one had a certain contextual tone they wanted to set in a body of text, it could be a useful word.

However, strictly speaking, one would not use it to describe pleasant objects. The word "pleasant" is more akin to the implication of "appealing", i.e. something that brings joy or happiness to the spirit or senses.

If I were writing a novel, a thriller or mystery perhaps, I might find it useful to set a sub-tone to the text by using a word like "appease" to imply something more than the scene might otherwise have. For general usage, I don't think I would.


'Appease' means 'placate'. It's not a ridiculous extention of its meaning to say 'After the noise of the city, the peaceful countryside appeased her mood'. But it would be unusual, and for every reader who found it a charming description, ten others would consider it an error. I suggest you reserve 'appease' for when you need its standard meaning.

'Appease' also has political echoes. Before World War II, some politicians tried to appease Hitler rather than recognise him as an enemy. Trump could be accused of appeasing Putin. That is the context in which many people will have come across the word. Yes, best to avoid it, unless it's EXACTLY what you want to say. (Compare how another seemingly innocuous pair of words - 'Final Solution' - have to be used with great care. The echoes can be deafening.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.