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Origin of pleasing

First recorded in 1350–1400, pleasing is from the Middle English word plesing. See please, -ing2
Related formspleas·ing·ly, adverbpleas·ing·ness, nounhalf-pleas·ing, adjectiveself-pleas·ing, adjectiveun·pleas·ing, adjective

Synonyms for pleasing

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  1. (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, pleas·ing.
  1. to act to the pleasure or satisfaction of: to please the public.
  2. to be the pleasure or will of: May it please your Majesty.
verb (used without object), pleased, pleas·ing.
  1. to like, wish, or feel inclined: Go where you please.
  2. to give pleasure or satisfaction; be agreeable: manners that please.
  1. 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 formspleas·a·ble, adjectivepleas·ed·ly [plee-zid-lee, pleezd-] /ˈpli zɪd li, ˈplizd-/, adverbpleas·ed·ness, nounpleas·er, nounhalf-pleased, adjectiveout·please, verb (used with object), out·pleased, out·pleas·ing.o·ver·please, verb, o·ver·pleased, o·ver·pleas·ing.self-pleased, adjectiveself-pleas·er, nounun·pleas·a·ble, adjectiveun·pleased, adjectivewell-pleased, adjective
Can be confusedpleas please

Synonyms for please

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pleasing

Contemporary Examples of pleasing

Historical Examples of pleasing

British Dictionary definitions for pleasing


  1. giving pleasure; likable or gratifying
Derived Formspleasingly, adverbpleasingness, noun


  1. to give satisfaction, pleasure, or contentment to (a person); make or cause (a person) to be glad
  2. to be the will of or have the will (to)if it pleases you; the court pleases
  3. if you please if you will or wish, sometimes used in ironic exclamation
  4. pleased with happy because of
  5. please oneself to do as one likes
  1. (sentence modifier) used in making polite requests and in pleading, asking for a favour, etcplease don't tell the police where I am
  2. yes please a polite formula for accepting an offer, invitation, etc
Derived Formspleasable, adjectivepleased, adjectivepleasedly (ˈpliːzɪdlɪ), adverbpleaser, noun

Word Origin for please

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

Word Origin and History for pleasing



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

Idioms and Phrases with pleasing


see as you please.

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