verb (used with object), pleas·ured, pleas·ur·ing.

to give pleasure to; gratify; please.

verb (used without object), pleas·ured, pleas·ur·ing.

to take pleasure; delight: I pleasure in your company.
to seek pleasure, as by taking a holiday.

Origin of pleasure

1325–75; late Middle English (see please, -ure); replacing Middle English plaisir < Middle French (noun use of infinitive) < Latin placēre to please
Related formspleas·ure·ful, adjectivepleas·ure·less, adjectivepleas·ure·less·ly, adverban·ti·pleas·ure, noun, adjective

Synonyms for pleasure

1. happiness, gladness, delectation. Pleasure, enjoyment, delight, joy refer to the feeling of being pleased and happy. Pleasure is the general term: to take pleasure in beautiful scenery. Enjoyment is a quiet sense of well-being and pleasurable satisfaction: enjoyment at sitting in the shade on a warm day. Delight is a high degree of pleasure, usually leading to active expression of it: delight at receiving a hoped-for letter. Joy is a feeling of delight so deep and so lasting that one radiates happiness and expresses it spontaneously: joy at unexpected good news. 5. voluptuousness. 8. preference, wish, inclination, predilection. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pleasure

Contemporary Examples of pleasure

Historical Examples of pleasure

  • He would say that his was a trip of business, and not pleasure, and hard work he had.

  • She laughed her little laugh of pleasure, and thanked him prettily for the compliment.


    William J. Locke

  • At last, I asked, if it were his pleasure that I should pour him out another dish?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Dearest Madam, forgive me: it was always my pride and my pleasure to obey you.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Do not occasion me uneasiness, when I would give you nothing but pleasure.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for pleasure



an agreeable or enjoyable sensation or emotionthe pleasure of hearing good music
something that gives or affords enjoyment or delighthis garden was his only pleasure
  1. amusement, recreation, or enjoyment
  2. (as modifier)a pleasure boat; pleasure ground
euphemistic sexual gratification or enjoymenthe took his pleasure of her
a person's preference or choice


(when intr, often foll by in) to give pleasure to or take pleasure (in)
Derived Formspleasureful, adjectivepleasureless, adjective

Word Origin for pleasure

C14 plesir, from Old French; related to Old French plaisir to please
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 pleasure

late 14c., "condition of enjoyment," from Old French plesir, also plaisir "enjoyment, delight, desire, will" (12c.), from noun use of infinitive plaisir (v.) "to please," from Latin placere "to please, give pleasure, be approved" (see please (v.)). Ending altered in English 14c. by influence of words in -ure (measure, etc.). Meaning "sensual enjoyment as the chief object of life" is attested from 1520s.


1530s, "to take pleasure in;" 1550s as "give pleasure to," from pleasure (n.). Sexual sense by 1610s. Related: Pleasured; pleasuring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper