Did You Know?
Pleasure, delight, and enjoyment are all synonyms and all signify the agreeable emotion accompanying the possession or expectation of what is good or greatly desired. Why, then, use delectation, that not-so-familiar synonym? Because, as with most synonym groups, each word has its own subtle distinctions. Pleasure stresses satisfaction or gratification of the senses. Delight adds the idea of liveliness or obviousness in that satisfaction, often less enduring than pleasure. Enjoyment suggests a wide range of deep pleasure from merely transient, though complete, gratification to deep-seated happiness. Delectation (which is from the Latin word for "delight") suggests a reaction to pleasurable experience consciously sought or provided. More than all the others, it connotes amusement or diversion.
"All of Europe is in mourning for its past. Bookstores are stocked with albums of photographs offering up the vanished past for our delectation and reflex nostalgia." — Susan Sontag, Where the Stress Falls, 2001
"Then it was on to the dining room for, among other delectations, Caesar salad, shrimp remoulade, turtle soup, Eggs Benedict, bread pudding and king cake French toast." — Nell Nolan, NOLA.com, 9 July 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of delectation: _ l _ _ s _ n _ e.VIEW THE ANSWER
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