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 The industry’s acceptance of Koffee has been gratifying in part because of how infrequently women have been championed inside and outside of the business. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, "Meet Koffee, Reggae's Next Big Ting," 4 Nov. 2019 Yale’s acceptance of Adam and Rebecca gratified Kobliner, who had applied there herself and been rejected. Daniel Golden, ProPublica, "The Hedge Fund Billionaire’s Guide to Buying Your Kids a Better Shot at Not Just One Elite College, but Lots of Them," 28 Sep. 2019 Without devotion, belief becomes grounded in little more than trivial gratification—and gets outcompeted by the multitude of things that are far more trivially gratifying. WSJ, "Where Did All the Faith Go?," 9 July 2019 Yet fans hoping to glimpse the problems of the 21st century in the new book will be gratified, too. The Economist, "The sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale” explores the workings of repression," 12 Sep. 2019 We are gratified that the court emphatically held that this dispute is over. Bob Egelko,, "Damages in Steinbeck rights cut, but defendant told to quit claiming rights to works," 9 Sep. 2019 So, yes, the approving roar of Chicago fans appreciating his beer guzzling felt gratifying. Dan Wiederer,, "Can Mitch Trubisky be the one to rewrite Bears history after 99 seasons of franchise mediocrity at quarterback?," 3 Sep. 2019 Being a mom is more complex, emotional, gratifying. Andrea Billups,, "Chely Wright Makes Emotional Grand Ole Opry Return — Her First Since Coming Out in 2010," 14 Aug. 2019 This fall marks the start of Filip Larsson’s pro career, having left the University of Denver this past spring after one standout season that gratified all the more after a half-year recovery from a horrific groin injury. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Why this Detroit Red Wings goalie prospect is so highly regarded," 27 June 2019

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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Statistics for gratify

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for gratify

The first known use of gratify was in 1539

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How to pronounce gratify (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on gratify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gratify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gratify

Spanish Central: Translation of gratify

Nglish: Translation of gratify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gratify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gratify

What made you want to look up gratify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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