propitiatory [prəˈpɪʃiəˌtɔri] n.
1.) The golden covering placed upon the Ark of the Covenant and regarded as the resting-place of God. Hence applied to the throne of God in Heaven, and to Christ as ‘the propitiation for our sins’.
2.) Theol. A propitiation; an offering of atonement; esp. said of Christ. Obs.
1.) That propitiates or tends to propitiate; of or pertaining to propitiation; appeasing, atoning, conciliating, expiatory; ingratiating (O.E.D. 2nd Edition).
Etymology: Adoption of Late Latin propitiatorium (a rendering of the Koine Greek ἱλαστήριον), place of atonement: noun use of neuter singular of propitiatorius, atoning, reconciling, whence the adj.
"οἳ δὲ πανημέριοι μολπῇ θεὸν ἱλάσκοντο
καλὸν ἀείδοντες παιήονα κοῦροι Ἀχαιῶν
μέλποντες ἑκάεργον: ὃ δὲ φρένα τέρπετ᾽ ἀκούων" (Ἰλιάς, Ὅμηρος, ~850 BCE).
"Propitiatory songs rose clear and strong
until day's end, to praise the god, Apollo,
as One Who Keeps the Plague Afar; and listening
the god took joy" (The Iliad by Homer, Robert Fitzgerald (trans.), 1974).
Just a quick word about the pronunciation of yesterday's phrase, "prima facie": there are quite a few ways of pronouncing this. The one I gave yesterday seems to be the British way. I think the standard American way (this is what I've always said anyway) is "pree-muh fay-shuh", which is also probably as close to the original Latin pronunciation as you can get without annoying everyone. Thanks for reading!