from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Making expiation or atonement for a sacrilege: piacular sacrifice.
  • adj. Requiring expiation; wicked or blameworthy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Requiring atonement or reparation; wicked or sinful.
  • adj. Expiatory.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Expiatory; atoning.
  • adj. Requiring expiation; criminal; atrociously bad.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Expiatory; having power to atone: as, piacular rites.
  • Requiring expiation; blameworthy; criminal; sinful; wicked.


Latin piāculāris, from piāculum, propitiatory sacrifice, from piāre, to appease, from pius, dutiful.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Early 17th century, from the Latin piacularis via the French piaculaire. (Wiktionary)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.