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 pleasures

Contemporary Examples of pleasures

Historical Examples of pleasures

  • Considered as a form of self-sacrifice, it was not without its pleasures.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Our pleasures are but the stolen moments we can snatch from its inattention.

  • As a nation, our people are pampering themselves and living for their own pleasures.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • And it was the greatest of pleasures to smile at each other every morning and evening.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • The pleasures of the table were all that seemed left to me in life.

British Dictionary definitions for pleasures



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 pleasures



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