peaceable, peaceful
In general, peaceable means ‘disposed to peace, not quarrelsome’ and refers primarily to people or activities:

• The visitor from beyond the planets would obtain the impression that the Earth is a very peaceable place —New Scientist, 1991.

The adverb peaceably occurs almost as often as the adjective:

• On the whole they lived peaceably and had lots of fellowship together —W. Green, 1988.

The more common word peaceful means ‘characterized by peace, tranquil’ and the notion is more actual than potential:

• The meal was peaceful, but when it was over the doors burst open and in surged a crowd of painters and models who hadn't been invited —J. Rose, 1990.

It can be used to describe a person as well as a situation:

• Sometimes I felt plain scared. I am a peaceful man. I always felt we were a target —Guardian, 2007.

The meanings of peaceable and peaceful overlap rather more with the adverb peacefully:

• The siege ended peacefully and Yacoub was later charged with taking hostages and with illegal possession of a firearm —Keesings, 1990.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • peaceable — peace·able / pē sə bəl/ adj: marked by freedom from dispute, strife, violence, or disorder the right to peaceable assembly peaceable possession peace·ably / blē/ adv Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam W …   Law dictionary

  • Peaceable — Peace a*ble, a. [OE. peisible, F. paisible.] Begin in or at peace; tranquil; quiet; free from, or not disposed to, war, disorder, or excitement; not quarrelsome. {Peace a*ble*ness}, n. {Peace a*bly}, adv. [1913 Webster] Syn: Peaceful; pacific;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • peaceable — early 14c., from O.Fr. paisible (12c.), from pais (see PEACE (Cf. peace)). Related: Peacably …   Etymology dictionary

  • peaceable — *pacific, peaceful, pacifist, pacifistic, irenic Analogous words: *amicable, friendly, neighborly: *amiable, complaisant: *calm, placid, serene, tranquil Antonyms: contentious: acrimonious Contrasted words: quarrelsome, bellicose, * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • peaceable — [adj] friendly, serene amiable, amicable, calm, complacent, conciliatory, gentle, irenic, mild, neighborly, nonviolent, pacific, pacificatory, pacifist, peaceful, peaceloving, placid, quiet, restful, still, tranquil; concept 548 Ant. belligerent …   New thesaurus

  • peaceable — ► ADJECTIVE 1) inclined to avoid war. 2) free from conflict; peaceful. DERIVATIVES peaceably adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • peaceable — [pēs′ə bəl] adj. [ME peisible < OFr] 1. fond of, inclined toward, or promoting peace; not quarrelsome 2. at peace; peaceful peaceableness n. peaceably adv …   English World dictionary

  • peaceable — peaceableness, n. peaceably, adv. /pee seuh beuhl/, adj. 1. inclined or disposed to avoid strife or dissension; not argumentative or hostile: a peaceable person; a peaceable disposition. 2. peaceful; tranquil: in peaceable periods; a peaceable… …   Universalium

  • peaceable — peace|a|ble [ˈpi:səbəl] adj literary 1.) someone who is peaceable does not like fighting or arguing →↑pacifist ≠ ↑violent, aggressive ↑aggressive ▪ He s always been a very peaceable man. 2.) a peaceable situation or way of doing something is calm …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • peaceable — [[t]pi͟ːsəb(ə)l[/t]] ADJ GRADED Someone who is peaceable tries to avoid quarrelling or fighting with other people. [WRITTEN] attempt by ruthless people to impose their will on a peaceable majority... John was always so extraordinarily… …   English dictionary

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