• (British) IPA: /sɪˈdeɪt/ 
  • (America) IPA: /səˈdeɪt/


  1. (of a person or their behaviour) Remaining composed and dignified, and avoiding too much activity or excitement.
    Synonyms: placid, staid, unruffled
    • 1642, Richard Watson, A Sermon Touching Schisme, Cambridge: Roger Daniel, p. 27,
      […] they will rashly huddle up all together, and not admitting the least check of a sedate judgement, publish onely the impetuous dictates of their indiscreet and too precipitant fancie […]
    • 1715, Alexander Pope (translator), The Iliad: of Homer, London: Bernard Lintott, Book 3, p. 5, lines 87-88,
      But who like thee can boast a Soul sedate,
      So firmly Proof to all the Shocks of Fate?
    • 1886, Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Chapter 16,
      A reel or fling of some sort was in progress; and the usually sedate Farfrae was in the midst of the other dancers in the costume of a wild Highlander, flinging himself about and spinning to the tune.
    • 1989, Hilary Mantel, Fludd (novel), New York: Henry Holt, 2000, Chapter 9, p. 149,
      Then she saw that they were waving their handkerchiefs; dipping them up and down, with a curiously sedate, formal motion.
  2. (of an object, particularly a building) Not overly ornate or showy.
    • 1928, Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography, Penguin, 1942, Chapter 6, p. 194,
      Sometimes she passed down avenues of sedate mansions, soberly numbered ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’, and so on right up to two or three hundred, each the copy of the other, with two pillars and six steps and a pair of curtains neatly drawn […]
    • 1936, Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (novel), New York: Macmillan, 1964, Part 4, Chapter 37,
      The shiny carriages of Yankee officers’ wives and newly rich Carpetbaggers splashed mud on the dilapidated buggies of the townspeople, and gaudy new homes of wealthy strangers crowded in among the sedate dwellings of older citizens.
    • 1942, Emily Carr, The Book of Small, Toronto: Irwin Publishing, 1986, “Grown Up,” pp. 164-165,
      Facing the Parliament Buildings across James’ Bay arose a sedate stone and cement Post Office.
    • 1985, Doris Lessing, The Good Terrorist, London: Jonathan Cape, p. 352
      The great hotel, with its look of sedate luxury, brooded massively there with people teeming about it.

sedate (sedates, present participle sedating; past and past participle sedated)

  1. To calm or put (a person) to sleep using a sedative drug.
    Synonyms: tranquilize
    • 1990, J. M. Coetzee, Age of Iron, New York: Random House, Chapter 2, p. 80,
      Though he may have been sedated, he knew I was there, knew who I was, knew I was talking to him.
  2. To make tranquil.
    Synonyms: calm, soothe, tranquilize
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