pleas·​ant·​ry | \ ˈple-zᵊn-trē How to pronounce pleasantry (audio) \
plural pleasantries

Definition of pleasantry

1 : a humorous act or remark : jest
2 : an agreeable playfulness in conversation : banter
3 : a polite social remark exchanged pleasantries

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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

Her English skills are limited to nail salon words and basic pleasantries. Thembi Ford, Essence, "How My Vietnamese Nail Tech And I Bonded Over The Shared Experience Of Weaponized Whiteness," 28 June 2019 Fourteen-year-old Princeton Korper has done this before – the pleasantries, the questionnaire, the promises. Leila Atassi,, "Princeton Korper gets a new ‘Big Brother’ after the first one let him down: A Greater Cleveland," 8 July 2019 Didn’t look up from briefing books and index cards but to exchange pleasantries with flight attendant and a few others. NBC News, "What to watch for at tonight's first Democratic presidential debate," 26 June 2019 The two leaders, seated across a long dinner table and both flanked by several aides, exchanged pleasantries in front of a group of reporters as the meeting got underway. Eli Stokols,, "Trump arrives in Japan for G-20 and talks with Putin and Xi," 27 June 2019 Both exchanged pleasantries with former coaches and team president Jeff Berding outside the team locker rooms following the match. Patrick Brennan,, "Ex-FC Cincinnati players say 'there's no grudges' after knocking club out of U.S. Open Cup," 20 June 2019 Ortiz exchanged brief pleasantries with the fan and shook his hand. Emily Sweeney,, "David Ortiz’s ties to Santo Domingo run deep," 10 June 2019 Lipka was safe, the no-hitter was over and the benches cleared so the players could exchange pleasantries (not really). Dan Brechlin,, "The Hartford Yard Goats lost a no-hitter on a bunt and people had thoughts," 6 June 2019 The pageantry and pleasantries somewhat mask Trump’s deep unpopularity with much of the British population. Eli Stokols,, "Trump is all insults and gripes as European trip begins — until he meets the queen," 3 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of pleasantry

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for pleasantry

Last Updated

29 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pleasantry

The first known use of pleasantry was in 1594

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More Definitions for pleasantry



English Language Learners Definition of pleasantry

formal : something (such as a greeting) that people say in order to be polite

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Comments on pleasantry

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a haphazard or makeshift solution

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