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 The positive reception from fans, especially regarding the theme of female empowerment, where women hold the power, was gratifying. Clayton Davis, Variety, 21 June 2024 Prospective patients need to do extensive research, looking at things like the qualifications and experience of medical staff, gratifying patient reviews, and a clinic's history of successful surgeries. Tyler Shepherd, USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2024 This was especially gratifying given that the Orion Television series had been canceled in 1983 and only landed a renewal following an extensive letter-writing campaign staged by fans. Carly Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 June 2024 For now, though, he has been gratified by the reception for what is already available. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for gratify 

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 23 Jul. 2024.

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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