pac-, peac-, peas-

(Latin: peace, peaceful, calm, quiet; eased anger or agitation)

pacifist (s) (noun), pacifists (pl)
1. A person opposed to war or violence; especially, someone who refuses to bear arms or to participate in military actions, for moral or religious reasons.
2. The belief that disputes between nations should and can be settled peacefully. 3. Opposition to war or violence as a means of resolving disputes; such opposition is demonstrated by refusal to participate in military action.

Pacifists have not always been treated with sympathy or understanding. Refusing to fight ever for any reason, or even just in a pasrticular situation when the reasokns for fighting seem clear to many others, calls for strong faith in one's own moral or religious convictions; since it has often resuklted in persecuktion by those who disagree.

The Quakers and the Jehovah's Witnesses are well-known pacifist religious groups; Henry D. Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. are probably the most famous American pacifists.

pacify (verb), pacifies; pacified pacifying
1. To soothe anger or agitation; synonyms: mollify, conciliate, appease, placate.
2. To subdue by armed action; reducing to a state of submission; especially, by military force; subduing.
3. To fight violence and to make efforts to establish peace in an area.
4. Bringing or restoring to a state of peace or tranquility; encouraging quiet; making calm: "She made every effort at pacifying the angry man."
5. Appeasing; such as, pacifying one's appetite.

Unhappy babies are often given a rubber device for sucking called a pacifier to stop their crying. In the same way, someone stirred up by anger or some other strong emotion can usually be pacified by resolving or removing its causes.

In a usage that refers to a military combat area, it means using armed forces to neutralize the enemy there and to quiet the local people who may have been supporting them.

pacifying (adjective)
"Jennifer's pacifying words calmed her son's fear of the thunder storm."
pact (s) (noun), pacts (pl)
1. An agreement between two or more people or groups.
2. A treaty or formal agreement between nations to deal with a problem or to resolve a dispute.
3. An agreement, especially if formal and/or between the representatives of nations.
4. A compact; a bargain.

Since a pact often ends a period of unfriendly relations, the word has "peace" at its root. Pact is generally used in the field of international relations, where we often speak of an "arms pact" or a "fishing-rights pact"; but it may also be used for a solemn agreement or promise between two people.

pax (s) (noun)
pay, (verb), pays; paid; paying
1. To give someone money for work done or for goods or services provided: "They were paid a small fortune for renovating the house."
2. To settle a debt or other financial obligation.
3. To bring in an amount of money: "She wanted to know how much the job would pay."
4. Etymology: from Middle English payen, "to pacify, to appease, to please, to pay"; from Old French paier, from Latin pacare, "to pacify"; from pac-, pax, "peace".

Just as parents, with the objective of having a quiet home, give their babies "pacifiers"; so, employers pay their employees, in an effort to avoid the difficulties of a discontented work force.

Etymologically as well, "to pay" is to pacify. The Latin verb pacare, "to pacify", is derived from pax, "peace". In the Middle Ages, pacare was used specifically to mean "to pacify a creditor by paying a debt" and eventually, more generally "to pay".

The Romance derivatives of the Latin word, including Old French paier, had both the original sense of "to pacify, to please", or "to appease"; and appease like pay and pacify, is a descendant of Latin pax; as well as, the later sense of "to pay".

—Based on information from
Webster's Word Histories; A Merriam-Webster;
Merriam-Webster, Inc., Publishers; Springfield, Massachusetts;
1989; page 350.

An additional confirmation of the etymological source of pay

Probably before 1200, paien, "to please, to satisfy, to put money down"; later, "to recompense, to requite, to appease"; borrowed from Old French paiier, from Latin pacare, "to appease, to pacify", or "to satisfy"; especially, a creditor, from pax, "peace".

The meaning in Latin of "to pacify" or "to satisfy" developed through Medieval Latin into that of "pay a creditor", and so "to pay", generally, in the Romance languages (Old French paiier, Provencal, Spanish, Portuguese pagar, Italian pagare, etc.).

In some of these languages, the verb still has both senses; but in French and in English, the sense of "to satisfy" or "to please" has become obsolete.

—Based on information from
The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology; Robert K. Barnhard, Editor;
The H.W. Wilson Company; 1988; page 767.
payable (adjective), more payable, most payable
1. Demanding payment on a certain date; due date: The monthly instalment for the purchase of the furniture was payable on the first day of each month.
2. Requiring payment to a particular person or entity: Thomas requested that the check for his work should be payable to him.
3. Subject to payment, especially as specified: Doug's loan was to be payable next month.
4. Capable of producing profit: Thomas and his wife started a payable business venture.
payee (s) (noun), payees (pl)
1. A person to whom a payment is to be made.
2. Someone to whom money is being paid or is due; especially, the person to whom a check or money order is payable.
payer (s) (noun), payers (pl)
1. A person who provides money or other compensation.
2. The person named in a bill or note who has to give money to the holder of the bill.
payment (s) (noun), payments (pl)
1. An amount of money that is paid or is due to be paid.
2. The act of paying money, or fact of being paid: "She expected the payment to be made at the end of the month."
3. A reward or punishment given in return for some kind of behavior or action.
peace (s) (noun), (rarely) peaces (pl)
1. Freedom from war, or the time when a war or conflict ends; such as, a peace agreement.
2. A calm and quiet state, free from disturbances or noises.
3. A state of mental calm and serenity, with no anxiety.
4. Freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.
5. A treaty agreeing to an end of hostilities between two warring parties.
6. The absence of violence or other disturbances within a state.

Peace, in international affairs, is a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

—Ambrose Bierce

Peace may cost as much as war, but it's a better buy.

—E.C. McKenzie
peaceable (adjective), more peaceable, most peaceable
1. Disposed to harmony or of a friendly nature: Everybody like Barbara in school because she was so peaceable and inoffensive.
2. Inclined toward contentment and avoiding contentious situations: Meg was a very amiable and peaceable person and was never inclined to being quarrelsome.
2. Tranquil and free from strife and disorder: In their marriage, Jill and John led a peaceable kind of life far away from any fighting or disturbances.
peaceably (adverb), more peaceably. most peaceably
1. Referring to how something is done in a quiet and nonviolent manner: In their marriage, Janice and Mark decided to live as peaceably as possible and never get into heated and aggressive arguments.
2. A reference to being undisturbed: Diana sat close to the fireside reading her book peaceably and contentedly.
peaceful (adjective)
1. Not disturbed by strife or turmoil or war.
2. Quiet, calm, and tranquil; such as, a peaceful atmosphere.
3. Serene and untroubled in one's mind.
4. Inclined or disposed to peace; peaceable.

A peaceful period is when everybody talks about war and which never lasts long enough to enable us to finish paying for past wars.

—Evan Esar
peacefully (adverb)
1. In a peaceful manner: "They live peacefully with their neighbors."
2. A reference to being calm and quiet with a lack of interruption or annoyance from worry, problems, noise, or unwanted actions.

Cross references directly, or indirectly, involving "calm, calmness, peace, quiet": plac-; quies-, quiet-; seren-.