grat·​i·​fy | \ ˈgra-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce gratify (audio) \
gratified; gratifying

Definition of gratify

transitive verb

1 : to be a source of or give pleasure or satisfaction to it gratified him to have his wife wear jewels— Willa Cather
2 : to give in to : indulge, satisfy gratify a whim
3 archaic : remunerate, reward

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Synonyms for gratify


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Did You Know?

A gratifying experience is quietly pleasing or satisfying. But gratifying an impulse means giving in to it, which isn't always such a good idea, and "instant gratification" of every desire will result in a life based on junk food and worse. Truly gratifying experiences and accomplishments usually are the result of time and effort.

Examples of gratify in a Sentence

A guilty verdict would gratify the victim's relatives. He's only concerned with gratifying his own desires.
Recent Examples on the Web Each camp of Democrats thus has a responsibility to learn from, if not gratify, the other. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, "How the Democratic Party Can Create a Majoritarian Coalition," 11 Feb. 2021 Porter was in a position to provide information to a reporter but dictated terms that would gratify him and degrade her. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Boys will be boys? Men like Jared Porter are driven by entitlement and stupidity," 21 Jan. 2021 Bailey’s family tearfully told 3rd District Judge Paul Parker how French had begun manipulating the young teenager in order to gratify himself. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah man gets life in prison for killing 15-year-old girl," 25 Aug. 2020 How about writing to entertain or inform others, or perhaps gratify myself and my life's personal agenda? Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | MASTERSON ONLINE: Mike's crazy day," 16 Aug. 2020 Even those inclined to support the president likely understand that the main goal of this strategy is to gratify his insatiable vanity. Editorial Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, "Republicans must condemn claim that vote will be fraudulent," 31 July 2020 For Goring, returning to work was not only gratifying, but also relieving. oregonlive, "As Oregon gyms get green light to reopen, owners scramble to meet strict coronavirus safety protocols," 20 May 2020 On one hand, few things are as innately gratifying as banging with sticks to keep a beat. Popular Science, "The best electronic drum kits for music production," 22 Jan. 2020 Three versions stay in heavy rotation: chicken with mole negro, chicken with tomatillo sauce and a standout jalapeño-and-cheese variation that’s extra gratifying when bathed in softly spicy red salsa. Los Angeles Times, "20 great L.A. places for Mexican food delivery and takeout," 3 Apr. 2020

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

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First Known Use of gratify

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for gratify

Middle French gratifier, from Latin gratificari to show kindness to, from gratus + -ificari, passive of -ificare -ify

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Time Traveler for gratify

Time Traveler

The first known use of gratify was in 1539

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Cite this Entry

“Gratify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for gratify



English Language Learners Definition of gratify

: to make (someone) happy or satisfied
: to do or give whatever is wanted or demanded by (someone or something)


grat·​i·​fy | \ ˈgra-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce gratify (audio) \
gratified; gratifying

Kids Definition of gratify

1 : to give pleasure or satisfaction to The loud applause gratified her.
2 : to do or give whatever is wanted by He only wants to gratify his wishes.

Comments on gratify

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