pleas·​ant·​ry ˈple-zᵊn-trē How to pronounce pleasantry (audio)
plural pleasantries
: a humorous act or remark : jest
: an agreeable playfulness in conversation : banter
: a polite social remark
exchanged pleasantries

Example Sentences

“how are you” is merely a social pleasantry his after-dinner speeches usually include the sort of gentle pleasantry that raises a chuckle
Recent Examples on the Web Rather than having to carry on awkward pleasantry conversations with a driver, the passenger can just go for a ride and not need to engage in sappy dialogue. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 15 May 2021 While the last year has consisted of on and off lockdown restrictions, the pleasantry in staying at home is being able to master all of your beauty and self-care needs. Nandi Howard, Essence, 28 Apr. 2021 Highs should get to the low-to-mid 70s, so enjoy the last of this stretch of pleasantry. Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2020 Some landscaping outside, trees planted in front of the building, even gave it an air of false pleasantry. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Sep. 2020 In a different version of Washington — something in the ballpark of the old normal, whatever that was — the sentiment could be ignored as a boilerplate pleasantry., 14 Nov. 2019 Miss Manners is afraid that this man’s attempt to make light of his inability to change his size — after a lifetime of people rudely suggesting otherwise — was his idea of a pleasantry. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, 14 Sep. 2019 The two women knew each other in passing, through front yard waves and occasional swapped pleasantries. USA Today, 22 Mar. 2020 Richmond police said the suspect followed the victim a short distance after exchanging pleasantries around 5 p.m. in the area of the 12500 block of San Pablo Avenue near Clinton Avenue. Alejandro Serrano,, 20 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pleasantry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pleasantry was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near pleasantry

Cite this Entry

“Pleasantry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



pleas·​ant·​ry ˈplez-ᵊn-trē How to pronounce pleasantry (audio)
plural pleasantries
: agreeable playfulness in conversation
: a humorous act or speech
: a light or casual polite remark
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