One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Making or requiring atonement.
- ‘These terms draw attention to the formal distinction between sacrifices offered for persons and those offered on behalf of social groups, but we shall see that they differ also in intention, the first having primarily a piacular intention, and the second a confirmatory one.’
- ‘I would never do a ritual without a piacular offering just in case.’
- ‘If the omen is such that this question is answered in the negative, we go back and do another piacular offering, then start this part over.’
Early 17th century: from Latin piacularis, from piaculum ‘expiation’, from piare ‘appease’.
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