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 For a higher price, this Yale keypad lock features a sleek design and gratifying mechanical noises that accompany entering your code successfully. Popular Science, "Three keypad locks that let you ditch your keys," 31 Jan. 2020 He will be gratified by this year’s rush for tickets; the 4.5m applications have taken even the organisers by surprise. The Economist, "Why Japan is learning to love rugby," 19 Sep. 2019 The creation of the archive — and work with descendants of its subjects — is gratifying for Pohrt, whose father also was a collector. Washington Post, "Collaboration key to assembling Native American photo trove," 23 Dec. 2019 Seeing players like Cheick Diallo step up in his absence was gratifying, but Baynes desperately wanted to return to action. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Aron Baynes brings back Phoenix Suns' toughness, intensity after hip injury," 30 Nov. 2019 Gustav revealed that Marie was Alma’s middle name and Freud, presumably, was gratified. Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books, "It Had to Be Her," 7 Jan. 2020 The Star Wars cycle is the answer—a quest for the primal structure of society and family and identity that, in the process, would also gratify those in desperate need of such answers. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Robotic Familiarity of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”," 19 Dec. 2019 But there’s also a place for music free of such things, music that’s directly and simply gratifying, in and of itself. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra, Sachs delight with slate of untroubled Classical standards," 22 Nov. 2019 The Safdies were gratified to see images on Twitter of fans dressed as Howard for Halloween—six weeks before the movie came out. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, "The Safdie Brothers’ Full-Immersion Filmmaking," 9 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for gratify

Time Traveler

The first known use of gratify was in 1539

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Statistics for gratify

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gratify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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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

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