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[pleez] /pliz/
(used as a polite addition to requests, commands, etc.) if you would be so obliging; kindly:
Please come here. Will you please turn the radio off?
verb (used with object), pleased, pleasing.
to act to the pleasure or satisfaction of:
to please the public.
to be the pleasure or will of:
May it please your Majesty.
verb (used without object), pleased, pleasing.
to like, wish, or feel inclined:
Go where you please.
to give pleasure or satisfaction; be agreeable:
manners that please.
if you please,
  1. if it be your pleasure; if you like or prefer.
  2. (used as an exclamation expressing astonishment, indignation, etc.):
    The missing letter was in his pocket, if you please!
Origin of please
1275-1325; (v.) Middle English plesen, plaisen < Middle French plaisirLatin placēre to please, seem good (see placid); the use of please with requests, etc., is presumably a reduction of the clause (it) please you may it please you, later reinforced by imperative use of intransitive please to be pleased, wish
Related forms
pleasable, adjective
[plee-zid-lee, pleezd-] /ˈpli zɪd li, ˈplizd-/ (Show IPA),
pleasedness, noun
pleaser, noun
half-pleased, adjective
outplease, verb (used with object), outpleased, outpleasing.
overplease, verb, overpleased, overpleasing.
self-pleased, adjective
self-pleaser, noun
unpleasable, adjective
unpleased, adjective
well-pleased, adjective
Can be confused
pleas, please.
4. choose, desire, prefer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for well-pleased
Historical Examples
  • “Ay, ay,” said Tibble, regarding him with a well-pleased face.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Hungry Englishmen are not well-pleased to be baulked of their provisions.

    Ben Burton W. H. G. Kingston
  • Their mother, however, was not quite so well-pleased with the result of the expedition.

    Bob Strong's Holidays John Conroy Hutcheson
  • Brodrick watched, well-pleased, the silent traffic of their tendernesses.

    The Creators

    May Sinclair
  • Richelieu waved his hand, but with a well-pleased look, and the youth retired.

    Lord Montagu's Page G. P. R. James
  • Then she kissed them, well-pleased, and with a gentle hesitation in her manner asked me in.

    The Purple Land W. H. Hudson
  • He waggles his head, well-pleased, while Cosmo backs in a gentlemanly manner.

    Alice Sit-By-The-Fire J. M. Barrie
  • The Miko will look upon his daughters with a well-pleased eye.

  • Leo shook the vicar's hand, kissed Sybil, and Kilspindie smiled, well-pleased.

    The Pagan's Cup Fergus Hume
  • He could not play the well-pleased lover openly, as did Silverbridge.

    The Duke's Children

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for well-pleased


adjective (well pleased when postpositive)
very happy or satisfied: well pleased with the outcome of the meeting


to give satisfaction, pleasure, or contentment to (a person); make or cause (a person) to be glad
to be the will of or have the will (to): if it pleases you, the court pleases
if you please, if you will or wish, sometimes used in ironic exclamation
pleased with, happy because of
please oneself, to do as one likes
(sentence modifier) used in making polite requests and in pleading, asking for a favour, etc: please don't tell the police where I am
yes please, a polite formula for accepting an offer, invitation, etc
Derived Forms
pleasable, adjective
pleased, adjective
pleasedly (ˈpliːzɪdlɪ) adverb
pleaser, noun
Word Origin
C14 plese, from Old French plaisir, from Latin placēre to please, satisfy
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 well-pleased



early 14c., "to be agreeable," from Old French plaisir "to please, give pleasure to, satisfy" (11c., Modern French plaire, the form of which is perhaps due to analogy of faire), from Latin placere "to be acceptable, be liked, be approved," related to placare "to soothe, quiet" (source of Spanish placer, Italian piacere), possibly from PIE *plak-e- "to be calm," via notion of still water, etc., from root *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta).

Meaning "to delight" in English is from late 14c. Inverted use for "to be pleased" is from c.1500, first in Scottish, and paralleling the evolution of synonymous like (v.). Intransitive sense (e.g. do as you please) first recorded c.1500; imperative use (e.g. please do this), first recorded 1620s, was probably a shortening of if it please (you) (late 14c.). Related: Pleased; pleasing; pleasingly.

Verbs for "please" supply the stereotype polite word (e.g. "Please come in," short for may it please you to ...) in many languages (French, Italian), "But more widespread is the use of the first singular of a verb for 'ask, request' " [Buck, who cites German bitte, Polish proszę, etc.]. Spanish favor is short for hace el favor "do the favor." Danish has in this sense vær saa god, literally "be so good."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with well-pleased


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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