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

transitive verb

: to be a source of or give pleasure or satisfaction to
it gratified him to have his wife wear jewelsWilla Cather
: to give in to : indulge, satisfy
gratify a whim
archaic : remunerate, reward

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 In other news, there was a tearful, gratified send-off to outgoing assistant director of Elections & Registration Becky Rauch who is leaving to take a position elsewhere. Shelley Jones, Chicago Tribune, 25 Aug. 2023 Amazon’s researchers said they were gratified by the largely positive feedback. Bernhard Warner,, 1 July 2023 Donnie is equal parts dazed and gratified by the attention he’s been receiving for his four-decades-old oeuvre. Lily Moayeri, Spin, 23 Aug. 2023 Naomi Riley, a former undergraduate president who graduated in 2021, said she was gratified by Block’s support of Black students like her. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2023 The show, created by Hollywood whodunit king Rian Johnson, adopts a retro case-of-the-week structure that Lyonne found gratifying after noting how viewers experienced the binge model with her Netflix series Russian Doll. Esther Zuckerman, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Aug. 2023 For the singer-songwriter, however, the success is more of a gratifying development in her complex spiritual journey than a mere response to hatred. Jack Irvin, Peoplemag, 2 Aug. 2023 The second, more instantly gratifying special is the Final Call for Fall, slashing $250 off September 2023 rail tours in the US—also known as the start of leaf-peeping season—as long as they’re booked before August 4. Kyler Alvord, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 July 2023 More immediately gratifying are two brand-new debuts as of June 1. Kathryn Romeyn, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gratify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of gratify was in 1539

Dictionary Entries Near gratify

Cite this Entry

“Gratify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


grat·​i·​fy ˈgrat-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce gratify (audio)
gratified; gratifying
: to give or be a source of pleasure or satisfaction to
: to grant a favor to : indulge

More from Merriam-Webster on gratify

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