Definition of please in English:

please

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Cause to feel happy and satisfied.

    ‘he arranged a fishing trip to please his son’
    with object and infinitive ‘it pleased him to be seen with someone in the news’
    • ‘He said it pleased him, and he was flattered not offended…’
    • ‘Yet Katherine saw the small mistake, and it pleased her.’
    • ‘He loved the city and it pleased him that she was interested in its history.’
    • ‘It pleased him, though he couldn't think of any useful advice he'd given.’
    • ‘It pleased him so much to see her doing new things and living her life.’
    • ‘Now only happiness lay before them and it pleased her well.’
    • ‘It pleased me somehow to be weathered by this deadly wind on my face and to be exposed to a gorgeous icy glare on this sunny afternoon.’
    • ‘It pleased Maria to see Isabella able to enjoy herself again.’
    • ‘It pleased him to know that he might go on, far away from this place.’
    • ‘All we can say is that it pleased the Lord to do this.’
    • ‘When they told me where they lived I had no idea where Downpatrick was, and it pleased me that now I had a passing acquaintance with the place.’
    • ‘I could hear a smile over the line and it pleased me.’
    • ‘Though it pleased them that the fight was finally over, their losses were overwhelming.’
    • ‘And there can be little doubt that, if nothing else, it pleased the Commission and Commissioner.’
    • ‘The dancers before him danced and twirled just for him and it pleased him.’
    • ‘It grieved her for the same reason it pleased her.’
    • ‘It pleased me to see New Jersey State Troopers out in force at the Newark airport.’
    • ‘It pleased me to know that he was a very good conversationalist, and was capable of holding intelligent conversation for more than two seconds.’
    • ‘I knew they were just anxious to get started, and it pleased me.’
    • ‘It pleased me no end, trying to make amends for many years of imposed suppression.’
    nice, agreeable, pleasant, pleasurable, satisfying, gratifying, welcome, good, acceptable, to one's liking, enjoyable, entertaining, amusing, delightful, fine
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object Give satisfaction.
      ‘she was quiet and eager to please’
      • ‘Eager to please, it goes for easy laughs, reinforcing rather than challenging stereotypes.’
      • ‘I was your typical white girl growing up in the suburbs - too nice, too eager to please.’
      • ‘He's eager and willing to please and follows my instructions without a fault.’
      • ‘They are eager to please and want to ensure that your business is successful.’
      • ‘I find myself behaving like the good little Catholic boy I was raised to be: deferential, eager to please.’
      • ‘Eager to please, Adam even has plastic surgery - a barely discernible nose job.’
      • ‘It may be equally frustrating to children who are eager to please, obtain approval, and gain parental acceptance.’
      • ‘The Sanctuary itself was spectacularly built and was very aesthetically pleasing to the eye.’
      • ‘Even the most eager to please and intelligent dog will need these rules reinforced all the time.’
      • ‘She's a little bit wild, eager to please, sexually adventurous and willing to do what they want.’
      • ‘A keen worker, Manuel is eager to please but possesses a poor command of the English language.’
      • ‘They like when I push them to the extremes of their body and they are always eager to please.’
      • ‘He was looking down at him like a puppy dog, eager to please but at the same time unable to speak his mind.’
      • ‘This was a shame, because the staff were friendly and eager to please, and that end of Blossom Street really could do with a top-notch little eatery to spice it up.’
      • ‘You get little respect and sometimes get lots of scorn, but yet you are faithful and eager to please.’
      • ‘The hotel offers rooms of five-star quality at four or even three-star prices and is notably eager to please.’
      • ‘Eager as ever to please, here's just two of the many dissertations we received.’
      • ‘He is, by inclination, eager to please, keen to win support within his party and go with the political grain.’
      • ‘These Edinburgh festivals generate noise and excitement and their proliferation pleases and astonishes.’
      • ‘Putting on your best smile and adopting a pleasant, helpful attitude you stand eager and ready to please, waiting for the onslaught of the great shopping public.’
      friendly, amiable, pleasant, agreeable, affable, nice, genial, likeable, good-humoured, charming, engaging, winning, delightful
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Satisfy aesthetically.
      ‘he was wearing a buttonhole that did not quite please the eye’
      • ‘The coloring looks good throughout, always vibrant and always pleasing to the eye.’
      • ‘Get out of your rut of voting for the aesthetically pleasing contestant with no vocal talent, and pick the ones who can sing.’
      • ‘Aesthetically pleasing it wasn't, but his goal did suggest a quickness of mind and, just as important, a ruthlessness that is engrained in all great strikers.’
      • ‘The surgeon also strives for a functional repair of the muscles and an aesthetically pleasing approximation of the skin edges.’
      • ‘Indeed, relocating a city to a more effective, attractive but perhaps less aesthetically pleasing location has its logical merits if it improves its strategic aims.’
      • ‘An aesthetically pleasing city with clean air would make cycling and walking more pleasurable.’
      • ‘My aesthetically pleasing black borders are back!’
      • ‘It wasn't just because of the camaraderie of the legends, but because of the aesthetically pleasing physiques they built as well.’
      • ‘It was ‘attractive and pleasing, both within and without’, and in its heyday could seat 1,000 worshippers.’
      • ‘The participants would be bringing aesthetically pleasing furniture suitable for those living in tiny accommodations.’
      • ‘We all want a safer, cleaner and a more aesthetically pleasing community.’
      • ‘A woman's body is deemed to be valuable only as long as it satisfies men or pleases others in the society.’
      • ‘Such vitriol toughened her up for the less aesthetically pleasing career of boxing.’
      • ‘The practice of counting pitches has all but eliminated the aesthetically pleasing complete game performance.’
      • ‘The patient will use an aesthetically pleasing reconstruction.’
      • ‘‘We're trying to make the garden more visually pleasing and also attract inner town wildlife,’ said Mr Goldie.’
      • ‘But I also didn't expect the modern yet historic and aesthetically pleasing city I found myself in this weekend.’
      • ‘Moreover, the numerous wineries and vineyards were quite aesthetically pleasing to the eye.’
      • ‘Display areas were created in which glass cases were as densely packed as possible without much regard to an aesthetically pleasing installation.’
      • ‘They do not recognize how aesthetically pleasing your site is but rather will digest the content of your site to understand its subject matter.’
      make happy, give pleasure to, make someone content, make someone glad, make someone pleased, make someone feel good, delight, charm, amuse, divert, entertain, be agreeable to, gladden, cheer up
      View synonyms
  • 2please oneselfTake only one's own wishes into consideration in deciding how to act or proceed.

    ‘this is the first time in ages that I can just please myself’
    • ‘By the end of the week you feel much better, and paradoxically by pleasing yourself your partner is also satisfied.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, there are still some parish councillors who get elected or co-opted and then believe they can please themselves.’
    • ‘They're most interested in pleasing themselves, like some of the people you're forced to deal with.’
    • ‘Busier than ever, she is happily married with two young children and plans to spend her fifties pleasing herself and exploring other avenues.’
    • ‘Many of these women aborted not to please themselves, but to preserve relationships: with their mothers, with their families in general, with their boyfriends.’
    • ‘The glory of being older is that we can be ourselves and please ourselves.’
    • ‘If you're just pleasing yourself, why not save it for home?’
    • ‘I don't conform unless I choose to, and, frankly, I please myself.’
    • ‘Everybody was just into pleasing themselves, to such a point that there was no room for any relationship.’
    • ‘I was trying so hard to please myself, I was turning into somebody else.’
    • ‘I've come to the realisation, at 57, that I have to do things that please myself, and if people like them that's a bonus.’
    • ‘Yes, we aim to please others; however, I firmly believe we should please ourselves first.’
    • ‘On the show, there's this really delicate balance between pleasing ourselves, just making ourselves happy, and making the audience happy.’
    • ‘They please themselves whether they serve or not.’
    • ‘All over the country, harassed parents are frantically trying to decide how to entertain their offspring, rather than pleasing themselves.’
    • ‘We wanted to please ourselves and be one of the best bands we would want to see live, and make some of the best records that we would have in our record collection.’
    • ‘I tend to follow my instincts and please myself.’
    • ‘I have often found myself out of balance with worry about what others think at the expense of pleasing myself.’
    • ‘They didn't do it to please themselves or just one guy.’
    • ‘The healthy freaks will please themselves with the newest diet and healthy food.’
    1. 2.1no object Wish or desire to do something.
      ‘feel free to wander around as you please’
      • ‘That means governments can spend them as they please.’
      • ‘If her relatives do not like it, they can do as they please.’
      • ‘More commonly, people seem to opt in and out of the traditional system as they please, positioning themselves to their greatest advantage.’
      • ‘A total of 122 animals, of eight species, have been placed in the park; all but the deer are free to move around as they please.’
      • ‘I understand that editors can hire and fire as they please.’
      • ‘The validity of such claims is measured best in Texas, where the big meatpackers have the most freedom to do as they please.’
      • ‘And the soft drink industry says students should have the freedom to eat as they please unless their parents say otherwise.’
      • ‘Users of such indices can pick and choose as they please in this evolving garden of relationships.’
      • ‘I defend a private club's right to recruit membership as they please.’
      • ‘But shoppers can't come and go as they please, nor can they always choose the food they want.’
      • ‘In a way, it's great that we have the luxurious situation that allows people to pretty-much come and go as they please - turning up to sing whenever they fancy.’
      • ‘Visitors will be able to come and go as they please, and there will be collecting boxes for them to make a donation.’
      • ‘Unlike the existing secure camp at Oakington, Cambridgeshire, the centres are expected to be open, with occupants free to come and go as they please.’
      • ‘We are all entitled to our opinions (and to think mine are a load of codswallop) and to get out there and express them as stridently as we please.’
      • ‘This incidence does raise several issues, not least of which is the continued lack of a proper policy to find permanent places for these people who continue to flout the law and do as they please.’
      • ‘People in life quote as they please, so we have the right to quote as we please.’
      • ‘‘Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please,’ warned Karl Marx.’
      • ‘Agitate for the freedoms of everyone to worship as they please.’
      • ‘For that reason I don't accept the unconditional authority of states to treat their citizens as they please.’
      • ‘Even more than staying in a hotel you will have the freedom to get up when you like, stay up as late as you choose, come and go as you please, and eat when you want.’
      like, want, wish, desire, see fit, think fit, choose, be inclined, will, prefer, opt
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2it pleases", "pleased", etc., "someone to do somethingdated It is someone's choice to do something.
      ‘instead of attending the meeting, it pleased him to go off hunting’
      • ‘While it pleases me to read the above comments and Mr. Conley's challenge, I'm also pleased to see William stand up for Michael.’
      • ‘Please, if it pleases you to laugh at the dog - do so.’
      • ‘If it pleases you to advance and research this theory, then please the more power to you.’
      • ‘I realise today that although his last diaries are very interesting, they have been composed for Chertkov and those whom it pleases Mr Chertkov to show them!’
      • ‘They have always been upfront about their desire to be famous, partly because this was a very vulgar thing to say in the Seventies and it pleased them to go against the grain.’

adverb

  • 1Used in polite requests or questions.

    ‘please address letters to the Editor’
    ‘what type of fish is this, please?’
    • ‘If you have any questions, please direct all queries to Greg Popcak.’
    • ‘There is actually a competition on the site to win a set of the gnomes, so if you can be bothered to register and answer the insultingly easy question please do.’
    • ‘This may be a stupid question, but please forgive my ignorance.’
    • ‘So if anyone has more questions please feel free to email me.’
    • ‘For a full list of questions, please visit the Background Briefing website.’
    • ‘We have a lot of readers, so if someone knows the answer to the following question, please leave it in a comment.’
    • ‘These unnecessary asides only waste the time of the House, so would the Minister please just address the question.’
    • ‘If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.’
    • ‘Would the right honourable Prime Minister please address the question briefly.’
    • ‘If you have any specific questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact your state editor or the network editor.’
    • ‘Would you ask the Minister to address the question please.’
    • ‘Again, I pose the question, can someone please explain why the noise of the sirens is very much more noticeable compared with a few months ago?’
    • ‘If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch and I'll reply as quickly as I possibly can.’
    • ‘If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us again.’
    • ‘Would the Prime Minister please address the question.’
    • ‘Could you please ask your question, the person with the mike up there?’
    • ‘For our meeting at 11 am, please think about this question - I will be very interested to hear your views’
    • ‘If you have any questions please address them to this group.’
    • ‘It is not a rhetorical question, so please do me and anyone else reading along here the courtesy of a reply.’
    • ‘If you have questions about this, please let me know.’
    if you please, if you wouldn't mind, if you would be so good
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used to add urgency and emotion to a request.
      ‘please, please come home!’
      • ‘Please, please, please, do not, in the event of any positive action, give me the conditioned reflex answer that any relaxation will have to be means tested.’
      • ‘Please, please do not destroy those palm trees.’
      • ‘Please, please let us show that we respect the wild life of the Dales and put off the grass cutting till July - and give plants, birds and other creatures a chance.’
      • ‘So please, please, keep your presents rolling in!’
      • ‘Please, please let's get to work on this building and make sure it has some kind of future.’
      • ‘Thanks in advance, and please, please travel home to us safely.’
      • ‘There's only a little over a week to decide. Please, please, please!’
      • ‘A note to bloggers: please, please make your links open in new windows.’
      • ‘Please, please return to your original format.’
      • ‘But until we can help you get those things, please, please don't push us too far.’
      • ‘Please oh please oh please oh please oh please let it pass.’
      • ‘Please, please, please tell me they are still going to do this.’
      • ‘Please, please, can we have a little perspective?’
      • ‘So please please please vote for the lovely Vaughan.’
      • ‘If you feel envy from his mind - well, I ask that you please ignore the emotion.’
      • ‘Please, please do not infect your output with the tired diatribes of this ageing and out-of-touch right-wing bigot.’
      • ‘If you feel the same please, please, please let me know.’
      • ‘Please please please understand that if I cause any offence to anybody, at all, anywhere, I apologise fulsomely and unreservedly.’
      • ‘Please, please, I beg of people to write to their MP and demand in the name of British justice that capital punishment be reinstated in this country.’
      • ‘While you're there, please, please, don't take a stroll along the Riverwalk.’
    2. 1.2 Used to agree politely to a request.
      ‘‘May I ring you at home?’ ‘Please do.’’
      • ‘Actually, yes, please do erase everything on my ipod.’
      • ‘‘Yes, yes, please do,’ I would coo soothingly, anxious not to disturb his flow.’
      • ‘Yes, Please Do Come In.’
    3. 1.3 Used in polite or emphatic acceptance of an offer.
      ‘‘Would you like a drink?’ ‘Yes, please.’’
      • ‘And she says yes, please, are you free this evening?’
      • ‘So yes please we tell the aged salesperson we'll have that one with 40 pounds off. ‘Ahh have you got an old fridge we can pick up then he asks’.’
      • ‘I can't imagine there would have been too many cries of, Yes please.’
      • ‘Yes, please, because at this time in my country it is really bad.’
      • ‘We would love a new ‘academy’ for our children, yes please, but we'd like it for everyone.’
      • ‘‘Yes, please,’ Natalie answered, grabbing her glass and following Sheila to the sofa.’
      • ‘Yes please, but let's have a proper debate first!’
      • ‘Yes please Cath; that's the best offer I've had from any woman in months.’
    4. 1.4 Used to ask someone to stop doing something of which the speaker disapproves.
      ‘Rita, please—people are looking’
      • ‘And please, stop emailing me asking when I am going to get your bio/picture up.’
      • ‘So please, stop pretending that the motivations for this are inexplicable.’
      • ‘Don't give me that look please, stop begging me with your glances.’
      • ‘Now, please don't disapprove, but I am very fond of Peter Halliway.’
      • ‘If you are calling for no reason at all, please stop because it's getting really annoying.’
      • ‘They are non-stop party favourites for a party you hope will stop, soon, please.’
      • ‘Many young people are, regrettably, disabled by illness or accident, so please will you stop and consider this before launching into a reprimand?’
      • ‘‘Ilse, please stop,’ Niklas pleaded, clenching his fists and leaning on the chair.’
      • ‘But please stop thinking you know so much about me, because frankly it's getting boring.’
      • ‘But please stop posting that particular conspiracy theory.’
    5. 1.5 Used to express incredulity or irritation.
      ‘Oh please, is that meant to be a serious argument?’
      • ‘Oh, please. I've been reading some of the hubbub about our latest release on blogs here and there, and I have to say that some people simply need to take a pill.’
      • ‘Oh please! So Meg's foie gras post is up.’

Phrases

  • as —— as you please

    • informal Used to emphasize the manner in which someone does something, especially when this is seen as surprising.

      ‘she walked forward as calm as you please’
      • ‘Now, imagine controlling that character and wandering about for as long as you please, taking in the fully interactive and insanely large environments.’
      • ‘You can feel as ridiculous as you please or you can admire the pretty mosaic tiles, breathe in the herb-infused vapours and let the heat take over.’
      • ‘He stopped about two feet from me, as casual as you please, staring down at me, and I staring at him with a mixture of determination and fear.’
      • ‘They're gone and he's sneaking up on the place and jerking doors open and windows as quick as you please.’
      • ‘There I'd be driving along just as nice as you please and in the passenger seat the fellow would be bouncing up and down, up and down.’
      • ‘Stay as long as you please then, Mr. Benito, Mr. Kane.’
      • ‘The staff are friendly without being saccharine and are quite willing to let you linger for as long as you please over a cup of coffee.’
      • ‘Once you've got the material, you can be as creative as you please with sewing or painting on patterns.’
      • ‘She stood as pretty as you please in her sunbonnet, and long dress in the hot weather waiting for my brother Dick to come up and see her.’
      • ‘Mehinakrota walked in as bold as you please, his head held high.’
  • if you please

    • 1Used in polite requests.

      ‘follow me, if you please’
      • ‘And you may follow, if you please, or keep to public streets.’
      • ‘I'll take another Martini, now, Sproat, if you please.’
      • ‘I'll thank you to keep your landing strips, your tarmacs, your runways and your taxiing lanes well under sufficient layers of cotton if you please.’
      • ‘And now I have said about as much as I ought to say in this impromptu manner, and if you please, I'll take the music.’
      • ‘Kindly draw the water while I change my dress, if you please.’
      • ‘Kindly refrain from showing the following movies on Sunday afternoons, in addition to The Craft, if you please.’
      • ‘Argue otherwise if you please, it doesn't matter.’
      if you please, if you wouldn't mind, if you would be so good
      View synonyms
    • 2Used to express indignation at something perceived as unreasonable.

      ‘she wants me to make fifty cakes in time for the festival, if you please!’
      • ‘Instead, they farm that sort of stuff out to a separate hygienist, who charges 30 quid a session and ‘recommends’ that I visit her every three months, if you please.’
      • ‘And, if you're into Chinese astrology, I'm also a ripsnorting rascal of a rooster or the female version… a hen if you please.’
      • ‘A large plasma screen on the wall offered excellent TV reception, as well as high-speed Internet access using the wireless keyboard provided… at £5.99 per hour, if you please.’
      • ‘I need to be at least 2 preferably 5 kilometers away now if you please!’
      • ‘And of course, should Don Brash indicate that he is keen to become the next MP for Tamaki, I should expect Margaret and Tim to withdraw their nominations - gone by lunchtime, if you please…’
      • ‘We must adopt the promised land mindset, if you please.’
      • ‘So, if you please, don't automatically hate all yuppies.’
      • ‘No, she uses them as arsenal, weapons of mass distraction, if you please.’
      • ‘Presumably some of our heroes, such as Mattie Holland, or Maitiú Ó hAoláin if you please, will find it educational too when they read the match programme.’
      • ‘Post-concert champagne and cigars in the Lace Market Hotel, if you please!’
  • please yourself

    • Used to express indifference, especially when someone does not cooperate or behave as expected.

      ‘‘I can manage on my own.’ ‘Please yourself.’’
      • ‘Oh well please yourself!’
      • ‘Well, please yourself. They'll be there and us dead, very likely.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French plaisir ‘to please’, from Latin placere.

Pronunciation

please

/pliːz/