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From Early Modern English pleasur, plesur, alteration (with ending accommodated to -ure) of Middle English plaisir (pleasure), from Old French plesir, plaisir (to please), infinitive used as a noun, conjugated form of plaisir or plaire, from Latin placēre (to please, to seem good), from the Proto-Indo-European *plā-k- (wide and flat). Related to Dutch plezier (pleasure, fun). More at please.



pleasure (countable and uncountable, plural pleasures)

  1. (uncountable) A state of being pleased or contented; gratification.
    Synonyms: delight, gladness, gratification, happiness, indulgence, satisfaction
    Antonyms: displeasure, pain
    He remembered with pleasure his home and family.
    I get a lot of pleasure from watching others work hard while I relax.
    • 2012 April 22, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0-1 West Brom”, in BBC Sport:
      But the only statistic that will concern West Brom will be the scoreline, and their manager Roy Hodgson will take considerable pleasure from a victory over the club he managed for just 191 days.
    • 2019, Toro y Moi (lyrics and music), “Ordinary Pleasure”, in Outer Peace:
      Maximize all the pleasure / Even with all this weather / Nothing can make it better / Maximize all the pleasure
  2. (countable) A person, thing or action that causes enjoyment.
    Synonyms: delight, joy
    It was a pleasure to meet you.
    Having a good night's sleep is one of life's little pleasures.
    • Bible, Acts xxv. 9
      Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; [] . Now she had come to look upon the matter in its true proportions, and her anticipation of a possible chance of teaching him a lesson was a pleasure to behold.
    • 2013 May 17, George Monbiot, “Money just makes the rich suffer”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 23, page 19:
      In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. The welfare state is dismantled. […]
  3. (uncountable) One's preference.
    Synonyms: desire, fancy, want, will, wish
    What is your pleasure: coffee or tea?
  4. (formal, uncountable) The will or desire of someone or some agency in power.
    Synonym: discretion
    to hold an office at pleasure: to hold it indefinitely until it is revoked
    to be imprisoned at Her Majesty's pleasure: to be imprisoned indefinitely
    at Congress's pleasure: whenever or as long as Congress desires
    • Bible, Isaiah xlviii. 14
      He will do his pleasure on Babylon.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      Use your pleasure; if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.



  1. pleased to meet you, "It's my pleasure"


pleasure (third-person singular simple present pleasures, present participle pleasuring, simple past and past participle pleasured)

  1. (transitive) To give or afford pleasure to.
    Synonyms: please, gratify
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    • (Can we date this quote?) Tennyson
      [Rolled] his hoop to pleasure Edith.
  2. (transitive) To give sexual pleasure to.
    Johnny pleasured Jackie orally last night.
  3. (intransitive, dated) To take pleasure; to seek or pursue pleasure.
    to go pleasuring


Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit