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

Examples of pleasantry in a Sentence

“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 The Klansmen returned his canvases too, this time in play-school pinks and blues, performing pleasantries instead of barbarities: driving, smoking, socializing and — tellingly — painting at easels. Walker Mimms, New York Times, 4 June 2024 The priest at first offers her pleasantries and aphorisms about dealing with suffering, but after listening to her agony, his affect changes. Alissa Wilkinson, New York Times, 11 May 2024 Ariana refuses to make eye contact with Sandoval but Dan engages as Sandoval attempts to exchange pleasantries. Krystie Lee Yandoli, Rolling Stone, 7 May 2024 Someone who divulges the details of her real estate portfolio in lieu of exchanging pleasantries. Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for pleasantry 

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

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 20 Jun. 2024.

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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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