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reducing conflict


conciliatory = versöhnlich --- GOOGLE INDEX conciliatory: approximately 2,500,000 Google hits



Chinese Leader Takes CONCILIATORY Tone in Meeting With Japanese

(New York Times headline)

Heiner Geissler, an 81-year-old former general secretary of Germany's ruling CDU party, has been arbitrating a series of CONCILIATORY meetings.

(The Economist)

Did you


- tending to lessen or avoid conflict or hostility



(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Etymology: Conciliatory is from the verb conciliate, which derives from the Latin conciliates (present participle of conciliare), "to bring together, unite in feelings, make friendly" and further from concilium "council."

Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't need a word like conciliatory? No conflicts. No disputes. No arguments. No need to be conciliatory. But the reality is, we are human. As English poet Alexander Pope famously said, "To err is human. To forgive is divine." And Pope can be forgiven for stealing the first part of his famous line, which is the English translation for the Latin proverb ""errare humanum est."

A Google search of "conciliatory" and the associated noun and verb "conciliation and conciliate" leave the impression that politicians are solely responsible for much of the arguing, and subsequent conciliation, that occurs in the world. The Israeli prime minister sounds a more conciliatory note on the Palestinians, saying he hopes to revive peace. America wonders if their president will adopt a conciliatory tone towards Republicans during his second term. The list goes on.

More conciliation goes on in our private and professional lives however. It just doesn't make the news. After years of telling his neighbour to cut down that apple tree that borders their properties because he is tired of having rotten apples in his yard, John becomes conciliatory and decides to bake his neighbour an apple pie instead. Susan yells at her co-worker for chewing gum too loudly in the office, but then decides a conciliatory approach is better and buys herself an iPod and earphones.


appeasing, assuaging, calm, civil, disarming, mollifying, pacific, peaceable, placating, placid, placatory, willing, yielding

SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation

"Instead of continuing to argue, I should have been more conciliatory during the meeting."

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