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[dih-lahyt] /dɪˈlaɪt/
a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture:
She takes great delight in her job.
something that gives great pleasure:
The dance was a delight to see.
verb (used with object)
to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly:
The show delighted everyone.
verb (used without object)
to have great pleasure; take pleasure (followed by in or an infinitive):
She delights in going for long walks in the country.
Origin of delight
1175-1225; (v.) respelling, after light1, of earlier delite, Middle English deliten < Anglo-French deliter, Old French delitier < Latin delectāre (see delectable); (noun) respelling (as above) of Middle English delit < Anglo-French, Old French, derivative of v.
Related forms
delighter, noun
delightingly, adverb
delightless, adjective
self-delight, noun
undelighting, adjective
1. transport, delectation. See pleasure. 3. charm, enrapture.
1. distress. 2. disappointment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for delight
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We hastened on, and to our delight found one of the best springs in the colony.

  • Malbone looked at Kate, who smiled with delight, and put her hand on that of Hope.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • And Jud, shouting with delight and relief, threw his arms around the neck of the horse.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • But his wife, her face aglow, clasped her hands in an ecstasy of delight.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • Gartley's heart swelled with delight, translating her confidence into his power.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for delight


(transitive) to please greatly
(intransitive) foll by in. to take great pleasure (in)
extreme pleasure or satisfaction; joy
something that causes this: music was always his delight
Derived Forms
delighter, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French delit, from deleitier to please, from Latin dēlectāre, from dēlicere to allure, from de- + lacere to entice; see delicious; English spelling influenced by light
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for delight

c.1200, delit, from Old French delit "pleasure, delight, sexual desire," from delitier "please greatly, charm," from Latin delectare "to allure, delight, charm, please," frequentative of delicere "entice" (see delicious). Spelled delite until 16c. when it changed under influence of light, flight, etc.


c.1200, deliten, from Old French delitier (see delight (n.)). Related: Delighted; delighting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for delight


Related Terms

boilermaker's delight

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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