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[grat-uh-fahy] /ˈgræt əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), gratified, gratifying.
to give pleasure to (a person or persons) by satisfying desires or humoring inclinations or feelings:
Her praise will gratify all who worked so hard to earn it.
to satisfy; indulge; humor, as one's desires or appetites.
Obsolete. to reward; remunerate.
Origin of gratify
1350-1400; Middle English gratifien < Latin grātificāre, equivalent to grāt(us) pleasing + -i- -i- + -ficāre -fy
Related forms
gratifiable, adjective
[grat-uh-fahy-id-lee, -fahyd-] /ˈgræt əˌfaɪ ɪd li, -ˌfaɪd-/ (Show IPA),
gratifier, noun
overgratify, verb (used with object), overgratified, overgratifying.
pregratify, verb (used with object), pregratified, pregratifying.
supergratify, verb (used with object), supergratified, supergratifying.
ungratifiable, adjective
ungratified, adjective
well-gratified, adjective
Can be confused
grateful, gratified (see synonym study at grateful)
1. please, delight, gladden. 1, 2. See humor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gratify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I then repelled that curiosity, for my mind was not in a situation to gratify it.

  • It would be a poor thing to gratify a prejudice against him.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Why should we cultivate talents merely to gratify the caprice of tyrants?

  • I did not feel disposed to gratify her curiosity, and said I did not know yet what I should do.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • But you see Sir Peter adores me so that he hastens to gratify my smallest wish.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • They in truth even vouchsafed to gratify us with the sight of the battle.

  • And you, madam, the disposition to gratify his hopes, I fancy.

  • Nature has given us passions, and youth and opportunity stimulate to gratify them.

    The Contrast Royall Tyler
  • What a feast it will be when you are able to gratify ambition to satiety!

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for gratify


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to satisfy or please
to yield to or indulge (a desire, whim, etc)
(obsolete) to reward
Derived Forms
gratifier, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin grātificārī to do a favour to, from grātus grateful + facere to make
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 gratify

c.1400, "to bestow grace upon;" 1530s, "to show gratitude to," from French gratifier (16c.) or directly from Latin gratificari "to do favor to, oblige, gratify," from gratus "pleasing" (see grace) + root of facere "make, do, perform" (see factitious). Meaning "to give pleasure to" is from 1560s. Related: Gratified; gratifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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