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

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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 The only physical activities Elizabeth has stuck with for decades are the ones that have brought her emotional pleasure. Bryan Kozlowski, Glamour, "The Queen’s Fitness Routine Involves Weight Training With a Crown," 9 Nov. 2020 Her pleasure was short lived because payback was on the way. Keyaira Boone, Essence, "Watch Janelle Monáe And Tessa Thompson Play 'Truth Or Dare 4 Democracy'," 5 Nov. 2020 For your terrifying pleasure, and in light of Halloween, here are the scariest TV shows of all time. Rebecca Farley,, "The Scariest TV Shows Of All Time," 23 Oct. 2020 It's been my absolute pleasure to take your questions. The Washington Post, "Color of Money Live: The last chat, for now," 15 Oct. 2020 Maybe their pleasure had to do with the relative novelty, in 1971, of being asked to take a photo with a stranger, in public. Emma Cline, The New Yorker, "Mike Mandel’s Selfies from the Seventies," 12 Oct. 2020 Being here, on the ground, the pleasure taken by those who were involved in physical shows was tangible. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Was Milan Fashion Week Really a “Fiasco”?," 29 Sep. 2020 Pictures of the couple's latest steamy, public date are available for your viewing pleasure at People, among other places on the web. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Katie Holmes and Emilio Vitolo Shared Some Serious PDA in Central Park," 19 Sep. 2020 But instead of noodles, the vinaigrette is paired with jerk chicken and rice and peas; the Broke Ass Cooks package everything together, inviting the diner to mix and match to their pleasure. Soleil Ho,, "Oakland’s in-demand jerk chicken pop-up is pushing boundaries," 27 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pleasure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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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?

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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