[plez-uh n-tree]

noun, plural pleas·ant·ries.

good-humored teasing; banter.
a humorous or jesting remark.
a courteous social remark used to initiate or facilitate a conversation: to exchange pleasantries.
a humorous action.

Origin of pleasantry

1645–55; < French plaisanterie, Old French plesanterie. See pleasant, -ry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pleasantry

Historical Examples of pleasantry

  • I replied, that her pleasantry was much more agreeable than her anger.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Eve thought so too, and she lost all her desire for pleasantry.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I could have kicked him for that pleasantry—if he had not been just then too important a personage to kick.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Sim started at the pleasantry with which Ralph had tried to soothe his spirits.

  • With which pleasantry, and a touch of the foot, I moved my friend aside.

British Dictionary definitions for pleasantry


noun plural -ries

(often plural) an agreeable or amusing remark, often one made in order to be politethey exchanged pleasantries
an agreeably humorous manner or style
rare enjoyment; pleasantnessa pleasantry of life

Word Origin for pleasantry

C17: from French plaisanterie, from plaisant pleasant
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 pleasantry

"sprightly humor in conversation," 1650s, from French plaisanterie "joke, jest; joking, jesting," from plaisant (see pleasant). Related: Pleasantries.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper