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 pleasure (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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sometimes the pleasure is enjoyed in total solitude. Clint Clemens, Town & Country, "A Garden on Cape Ann Preserves the Legacy of America's Greatest Landscape Designer," 30 Apr. 2021 This Taurus season, a full moon in Scorpio gives us the chance to hold both collective grief — something that is not only personal, but also our collective inheritance — and the pleasure of being alive at the same time. Gala Mukomolova,, "The Full Moon In Scorpio Offers Us The Gift Of Knowledge," 26 Apr. 2021 But beyond embracing the pleasure of fashion, Elbaz was attuned to the struggles of maintaining creativity and independence in an ever-more-commercial landscape. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "“If It’s Not Wearable, It’s Not Fashion,” and More of Alber Elbaz’s Best Quotes," 25 Apr. 2021 The shows take for granted the soft pleasure of tending to the needs of living things—of one species communing with another. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Dark Side of the Houseplant Boom," 20 Apr. 2021 He was filled with life and compassion and merriment, and the pleasure of his company was unequalled. Richard Stengel, Time, "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities: The Bountiful Life of Vartan Gregorian," 18 Apr. 2021 The appeal of the hike wasn’t the reward of a hot spring, just the pleasure of being outdoors and in the mountain scenery, the couple said. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Popular Big Sur trail to Sykes Hot Springs reopens five years after Soberanes Fire cut it off," 16 Apr. 2021 The once simple pleasure of an idle Sunday is undeserved because it has been paid for by the fallen and is no longer mine alone to spend. Timothy Kudo, Star Tribune, "I fought in Afghanistan. I still wonder: Was it worth it?," 15 Apr. 2021 Riley and Duke opened Life Kitchen in 2019 as a free cooking school for cancer patients to teach cooking skills and recipes that might restore the pleasure of eating. Washington Post, "People are losing their taste and smell to covid-19. Now there’s a cookbook to help.," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Queen has been pleased to declare her will and pleasure that His 'Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh shall henceforth be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Moment Philip Became a British Prince—And Why He Isn't the King," 9 Apr. 2021 The supplement contains mucuna pruriens, which increases relaxation and stimulates pleasure receptors. Norcal Marketing Llc, Chron, "5 Best Male Enhancement Pills: Top Sex Enhancer Supplements For Men 2021," 4 Feb. 2021 The complaint also alleges Gilbert attempted to persuade the woman to pleasure herself in her bedroom with the door open. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A former Rogers Memorial employee has been charged with sexual exploitation by a therapist," 9 Sep. 2020 And pleasure in the aromas that swirl into the atmosphere and fill your kitchen. Dallas News, "Chef recipe: Hushpuppies with Cajun Remoulade by Graham Dodds," 9 Sep. 2020 Evangelicalism’s official morality treats all pleasure as inherently suspect, the more so when those pleasures might belong to women or people of color. Elizabeth Spiers, The New York Review of Books, "Jerry Falwell Jr. and the Evangelical Redemption Story," 20 Aug. 2020 Unlike men, who seem to avidly discover their own pathways to pleasure through genital self-stimulation, women often have a more difficult time giving themselves permission to figure out exactly what lights up the pleasure pathways in their brains. Dr. Nan Wise, Glamour, "How to Use A Vibrator, According to a Neuroscientist," 15 Dec. 2019 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

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.

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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

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Learn More about pleasure

Time Traveler for pleasure

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pleasure

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pleasure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for pleasure



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?

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.

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