plea·​sure | \ ˈple-zhər How to pronounce pleasure (audio) , ˈplā- How to pronounce pleasure (audio) \

Definition of pleasure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : desire, inclination wait upon his pleasure— William Shakespeare
2 : a state of gratification
3a : sensual gratification
b : frivolous amusement
4 : a source of delight or joy


pleasured; pleasuring\ ˈplezh-​riŋ How to pronounce pleasuring (audio) , ˈplāzh-​ ; ˈple-​zhə-​ , ˈplā-​ \

Definition of pleasure (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give pleasure to : gratify
2 : to give sexual pleasure to

intransitive verb

1 : to take pleasure : delight
2 : to seek pleasure

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for pleasure


pleasure, joy, and enjoyment mean the agreeable feeling that accompanies getting something good or much wanted. pleasure is used for a feeling of happiness or satisfaction that may not be shown openly. He took pleasure in helping others. joy is used for a radiant feeling that is very strong. Hers is a life filled with joy. enjoyment is used for a conscious reaction to something intended to make a person happy. The songs added to our enjoyment of the movie.

Examples of pleasure in a Sentence

Noun I paint for the sheer pleasure of it. His grandparents took great pleasure in seeing him graduate from college. Is this trip for business or pleasure? It is a special pleasure for me to be here with you today. Now I can enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like spending time with my family. Verb a wine that is sure to pleasure even the most discriminating palate
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, the guest seems to take sly pleasure in their marital discord. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Black Bear': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 This Disney live-action sequel starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning is now available for your home-viewing pleasure. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "10 TV Shows and Movies to Watch This Week Instead of Going Outside," 12 Jan. 2020 Vogueworld This Writer Has No Feet, Loves Shoes, and Is the Funniest Person on Twitter By Sophie KempDecember 10, 2019 Sophie Helf is determined to luxuriate, to take pleasure in the simple beauty of life. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "This Writer Has No Feet, Loves Shoes, and Is the Funniest Person on Twitter," 10 Dec. 2019 Former Evening Sun editorial cartoonist Mike Lane took pleasure in tweaking his subjects but found more happiness in being with members of his family. Meredith Cohn,, "Former Evening Sun editorial cartoonist Mike Lane, known for ‘free-flowing artistry and passionate advocacy,’ dies," 18 Nov. 2019 From bemoaning the 0-2 deficit to taking pleasure in the Astros' pain, click through the gallery above to see hilariously ruthless memes from Game 2 of the World Series. Jordan Ray, Houston Chronicle, "Astros shredded by memes after World Series blowout by Nationals sends Houston down 0-2," 24 Oct. 2019 True, the Framers didn’t grant the president power to initiate hostilities at his pleasure. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Lee A. Casey, WSJ, "Congress Declares War, but Only the President Can Make It," 15 Jan. 2020 Through its 5 year run, the brand has not only managed to grasp the attention of industry heavy hitters but has also had the pleasure of collaborating with Adidas. Nandi Howard, Essence, "This Brooklyn Based Streetwear Brand Is Expressing Art Through Its Garments," 13 Jan. 2020 Drew explained that though he's had the pleasure of designing homes for many families over the years, a home is never just about its decor. Nathalie Kirby, House Beautiful, "Linda and Drew Scott Just Released a Podcast, "At Home With Linda & Drew Scott"," 3 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb He was accused of abusing underage girls and of directing some of them to pleasure some of his rich and powerful friends, including Andrew. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "As Jeffrey Epstein’s houseguest, Prince Andrew received foot massages from young Russian women, author reveals," 23 Aug. 2019 Advocates of a morally correct path to happiness also disapprove of taking shortcuts to pleasure with the help of psychotropic drugs. Rafael Euba, Quartzy, "Why striving for happiness makes people miserable," 23 July 2019 Sometimes, Winslow would pleasure himself at his locker or in his hotel room on team road trips., "Kellen Winslow Jr.’s disturbing behavior began early in pro career, Sports Illustrated article says," 14 June 2019 Hell, the only mistress he’d had, years ago, hadn’t figured out how to pleasure him like this. Eliza Thompson, Cosmopolitan, "Eloisa James Shares a Steamy Excerpt From Her New Book Too Wilde to Wed," 9 Jan. 2018 After all, there’s room for only one man in this administration who has the ability to pleasure himself. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: The Mooch Admits He Made an "Unforced Error" in First TV Interview," 13 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of pleasure


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1537, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pleasure


Middle English plesure, alteration of plesir, from Anglo-French plaisir, from plaisir to please

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pleasure

Time Traveler for pleasure

Time Traveler

The first known use of pleasure was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for pleasure

Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pleasure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pleasure


How to pronounce pleasure (audio) How to pronounce pleasure (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pleasure

: a feeling of happiness, enjoyment, or satisfaction : a pleasant or pleasing feeling
: activity that is done for enjoyment
: something or someone that causes a feeling of happiness, enjoyment, or satisfaction


plea·​sure | \ ˈple-zhər How to pronounce pleasure (audio) \

Kids Definition of pleasure

1 : a feeling of enjoyment or satisfaction I take great pleasure in reading.
2 : recreation or enjoyment Is the trip for business or pleasure?
3 : something that pleases or delights It's been a pleasure working with you.
4 : a particular desire What is your pleasure?

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on pleasure

What made you want to look up pleasure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!