grat·​i·​fy | \ˈgra-tə-ˌfī \
gratified; gratifying

Definition of gratify 

transitive verb

1 archaic : remunerate, reward

2 : to be a source of or give pleasure or satisfaction to it gratified him to have his wife wear jewels— Willa Cather

3 : to give in to : indulge, satisfy gratify a whim

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Synonyms & Antonyms for gratify


agree (with), content, delight, feast, gas [slang], glad [archaic], gladden, please, pleasure, rejoice, satisfy, suit, warm



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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

After Asian roles in Hollywood have been whitewashed by Emma Stone and Scarlett Johansson, Crazy Rich Asians’ box office win is gratifying proof that diversity on the big screen does, indeed, sell. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Michelle Yeoh Hopes Crazy Rich Asians Will Turn the Trickle of Diversity in Hollywood "Into a Stream"," 27 Aug. 2018 Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office prosecuted Spanier, said his office was gratified by the decision. NBC News, "Ex-Penn State president Spanier, convicted over Sandusky complaint, loses appeal," 26 June 2018 As Memorial Day nears, she is gratified that Jess Thomas and six other south Lake County veterans killed in action are being honored on 30- by 80-inch banners that have been hung along eastbound State Road 50 in Groveland, 30 miles west of Orlando. Lisa Maria Garza,, "South Lake County veterans 'who gave all' honored with Memorial Day banners," 24 May 2018 There are conflicting accounts as to what was said and done next, but there was little doubt that the brawny Murdoch had gratified the guard’s wish and left him with a black eye. Huw Richards, New York Times, "Keith Murdoch, Rugby Bruiser Who Vanished in the Outback, Is Dead at 74," 10 Apr. 2018 Watching the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale over the last three months hasn’t been an experience anyone would describe as cathartic, or gratifying, or even intermittently escapist. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "A Maddening Season Finale for The Handmaid’s Tale," 11 July 2018 Arizona's Sean Miller describes the 'gratifying' experience seeing Deandre Ayton drafted No. Alex Schiffer, kansascity, "Missouri State's Alize Johnson drafted in second round by Indiana Pacers," 21 June 2018 Even to compete there with those folks was gratifying. Leeanne Griffin,, "Mystic Sift Bake Shop's Adam Young Wins Food Network's 'Best Baker In America'," 19 June 2018 Making rage eyes at the camera and stalking off into the night like a grim-faced Psycho-Pirate might gratify the yen the show has always had to present June as a superhero. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "A Maddening Season Finale for The Handmaid’s Tale," 11 July 2018

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 1

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 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gratify

The first known use of gratify was in 1539

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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 \
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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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).


by force of circumstances

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