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 With the pandemic shutting down both business and pleasure travel, hotels have seen the most negative impact. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "‘Compassionate capitalism’: Lenders are mostly holding off on D-FW commercial foreclosures," 5 Feb. 2021 What would happen if the roommates spent six weeks of the summer quarantining together, mixing business and pleasure under the same roof during the pandemic? Ineye Komonibo,, "Summer House‘s New Roomie Ciara Miller Knows She Joined The Show At The Absolute Wildest Time," 4 Feb. 2021 But twerking is also a form of self-expression, joy, pleasure and freedom. Makeda Easter Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Twerk video celebrating MLK faces a backlash. But are critics missing the point?," 27 Jan. 2021 Reopen the Lament Configuration and follow the cenobites into their palace of pleasure and pain. Jordan Crucchiola, Vulture, "The 40 Best Horror Movies on Hulu Right Now," 17 Jan. 2021 These tactics, when adopted, are done to instill fear, and also for pleasure and excitement. Victor Luckerson, The New Yorker, "Living in the Age of the White Mob," 15 Jan. 2021 The contradictions between pleasure and obligation are crucial. Herbert Gold, Harpers Magazine, "The Injustice Collector," 5 Jan. 2021 The intra-office chat rooms of her unnamed company were plastered with cartoonish emojis, dedicated to hobbies as well internal business communications, and thus constantly permeating the membrane between business and pleasure. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The Perpetual Disappointment of Remote Work," 4 Jan. 2021 Because that experience — the pain and the pleasure — was transportive. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Philly tradition: You can smell it at LaSpada’s," 27 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pleasure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 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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Comments on pleasure

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