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 formsde·light·er, nounde·light·ing·ly, adverbde·light·less, adjectiveself-de·light, nounun·de·light·ing, adjective

Synonyms for delight

1. transport, delectation. See pleasure. 3. charm, enrapture.

Antonyms for delight Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for delight

Contemporary Examples of delight

Historical Examples of delight

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


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • We hastened on, and to our delight found one of the best springs in the colony.

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

  • But his wife, her face aglow, clasped her hands in an ecstasy of delight.

  • Gartley's heart swelled with delight, translating her confidence into his power.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for delight



(tr) to please greatly
(intr foll by in) to take great pleasure (in)


extreme pleasure or satisfaction; joy
something that causes thismusic was always his delight
Derived Formsdelighter, noun

Word Origin for delight

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

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