de·​lec·​ta·​tion | \ ˌdē-ˌlek-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce delectation (audio) , di-; ˌde-lək- \

Definition of delectation

Synonyms for delectation


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Pleasure, delight, and enjoyment are all synonyms and all signify the agreeable emotion accompanying the possession or expectation of what is good or greatly desired. Why, then, use delectation, that not-so-familiar synonym? Because, as with most synonym groups, each word has its own subtle distinctions. Pleasure stresses satisfaction or gratification of the senses. Delight adds the idea of liveliness or obviousness in that satisfaction, often less enduring than pleasure. Enjoyment suggests a wide range of deep pleasure from merely transient, though complete, gratification to deep-seated happiness. Delectation (which is from the Latin word for "delight") suggests a reaction to pleasurable experience consciously sought or provided. More than all the others, it connotes amusement or diversion.

Examples of delectation in a Sentence

Here is some chocolate for your delectation. tourists enjoying the delectations of this tropical paradise for the first time
Recent Examples on the Web That episode winds up coming full circle to involve Saul and Caprice in a stunt that will put their competitors (a dervish-dancing man who has sprouted multiple ears; a woman who mutilates herself for the delectation of the elite) to shame. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 1 June 2022 That show presented the cultures of colonized peoples in Africa and Asia for the delectation of bourgeois westerners, spurring a profound counter-reaction among Asian and African intellectuals. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 In a 1785 painting, the bend of her body and her over-the-shoulder glance invite delectation; her white garb conjures Ancient Greece or Rome. Cate Mcquaid,, 8 Feb. 2022 Herewith, for your holiday-reading delectation, a list of 31 notable long-form pieces from 2021. Mark Robinson, Wired, 22 Dec. 2021 The irony of the underprivileged dying for the delectation of foreign V.I.P.s is a concept that travels well, as Netflix has discovered, but Hwang’s stylishly blunt critique of capitalist spectacle may land even harder at home. The New Yorker, 14 Oct. 2021 Ducournau—whose previous film, the 2016 Raw, detailed the exploits of a cannibalistic veterinary student—works hard to titillate us in the movie’s first hour or so, spreading out a buffet of gruesome, deadpan violence for our delectation. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 1 Oct. 2021 Their streaming-series collaboration appeals to the lip-smacking delectation of liberals who have bought into the race-gender historical conceit of the 1619 Project and critical race theory. Armond White, National Review, 12 May 2021 One large specimen, displayed regally on a tray, is taken out for public delectation like a Renoir painting, and a crowd lines up for the privilege of taking a brief sniff. Kyle Smith, National Review, 5 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delectation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of delectation

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of delectation was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Delectation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on delectation

Britannica English: Translation of delectation for Arabic Speakers


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