Definition of pleasure in English:



mass noun
  • 1A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.

    ‘she smiled with pleasure at being praised’
    • ‘What I want to do is to give my customers the satisfaction and pleasure.’
    • ‘Canace had smiled in joy and pleasure, although she didn't completely understand.’
    • ‘But the ability to give grandiose expression to excessive sentiment must offer some satisfaction, some pleasure.’
    • ‘Like pleasure, virtue is sought for its own sake.’
    • ‘People pet cats because giving another being pleasure is satisfying; the genius of cats is simply to be willing to be honest about how good it feels to be petted.’
    • ‘Everyone present expressed satisfaction, approval, pleasure and delight at being in attendance.’
    • ‘Perhaps if he had been more concerned with self-advancement he might not have fallen into obscurity - but would he then have produced such happy music for our pleasure?’
    • ‘More blood two days before the party gave her the boost she needed, and left us all with a happy memory of her pleasure.’
    • ‘Sometimes your only compensation will be the satisfaction and pleasure of your own personal achievements; it may not be your placings.’
    • ‘There was no uncertainty, no wavering, no hesitation, nor was there any mirth, any pleasure, any satisfaction.’
    • ‘Do you think that I would do this for my own satisfaction or pleasure?’
    • ‘The good is not mere satisfaction or pleasure, but that which satisfies a person as a human.’
    • ‘One gains the greatest type of satisfaction and pleasure from doing the right thing, and as a result the two choices merge into one.’
    • ‘She acquired other things but instead of regarding these things as possessions which defined who she was, she saw them as things which simply gave her satisfaction and pleasure.’
    • ‘If you were to do that, then you'd see that this is a delightful family film with enough gentle pleasure to satisfy both the children and the parents.’
    • ‘Being happy and feeling pleasure are good things that you need not ever deny yourself.’
    • ‘He crossed the line rubbing his hands together gleefully, with all the pure pleasure of a happy 15 year old boy.’
    • ‘But now I've got doctors helping me so I'm really dispensable in so many ways and so what I do I do just for my own satisfaction and pleasure.’
    • ‘Grossly immoral standards are portrayed as if they are the norm and will bring utmost satisfaction and pleasure.’
    • ‘It was an expression of satisfaction and pleasure; he could glean that much from the swirling and shifting of her mental aura.’
    happiness, delight, joy, gladness, rapture, glee, satisfaction, gratification, fulfilment, contentment, contentedness, enjoyment, amusement
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Enjoyment and entertainment, as opposed to necessity.
      ‘she had not travelled for pleasure for a long time’
      • ‘The toy is a tool for pleasure, leisure, and entertainment.’
      • ‘Five lounges exist for entertainment pleasure, including a show lounge offering live music, a sports bar and grille, and a coffee bar lounge.’
      • ‘Read it for all the same reasons that you would read the novels - for boundless entertainment and for pure pleasure.’
      • ‘There's a problem here, an interesting one if one is concerned about reading as an act of pleasure as opposed to literature as a field of scholarship.’
      • ‘We must think of ourselves, not in terms of the satisfaction we get, from what we eat, or enjoy as pleasure, or entertainment today.’
      • ‘He allowed no expenditure for entertainments or pleasure.’
      • ‘I'm becoming a master of the Friday early night/lie-in combo right now, although this is more out of necessity than pleasure, sadly.’
      • ‘Glasgow has become a place of leisure, pleasure and entertainment.’
      • ‘The Field with its cast of classical characters in an epic setting is sure to be an evening of entertainment and pleasure not to be missed.’
      • ‘Parents want more from their children's entertainment than mere pleasure.’
      • ‘The only way to do that is to attract people to visit the town for pleasure and entertainment and to create wealth by providing employment.’
      • ‘It turns obligation into pleasure, a daily necessity into a celebration.’
      • ‘People have been skiing since 3000BC, but the birth of modern skiing - for pleasure rather than necessity - only began in the late nineteenth century.’
      • ‘Yet by far the overwhelming majority of vacationers travel for pleasure.’
      • ‘The family shared Calvin's view that ‘we cannot avoid those things, which seem to serve pleasure rather than necessity’.’
      • ‘Some parts of the building are for entertainment, pleasure, and relaxation; others for work and for meeting outsiders.’
      • ‘This seems quite strange to the modern sensibility, which associates organised travel purely with relaxation and pleasure.’
      • ‘Attempts to create a more patriotic and disciplined culture soon reshaped what remained of popular pleasure and entertainment.’
      • ‘On the second conception, all we want, when we want to be happy, is pleasure.’
      • ‘It is giving away, or not indulging in, pleasure for entertainment's sake.’
      enjoyment, fun, entertainment, amusement, diversion, recreation, leisure, relaxation
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2count noun An event or activity from which one derives enjoyment.
      ‘the car makes driving in the city a pleasure’
      • ‘I resist the view that the pleasures of fiction derive from its purely thought-experimental aspects.’
      • ‘It is undoubtedly true that the pleasures of smoking are derived from the actions of nicotine on the central nervous system.’
      • ‘He was a precocious genius, became famous very early, and for a while tasted society life and the pleasure of entertainment and diversion.’
      • ‘Having said that, the film is not without its pleasures, most of which derive from the casting.’
      • ‘For Dr Hall, one of the festival's great pleasures is seeing these friends of Jorvik arrive each year.’
      • ‘This also embraces your innate inclination towards the leisurely enjoyment of life's pleasures.’
      • ‘But do not renounce the pleasure of being happy and of making for happiness in this.’
      • ‘This movie was one of the unexpected pleasures of the Toronto International Film Festival.’
      • ‘They have an inclination for pleasures and they desire to revel in them for ever.’
      • ‘His own interest in food lay in the pleasures to be derived from it.’
      • ‘The central pleasure of a truly satisfying memoir is the narrator's ability to reflect, artfully and persuasively.’
      • ‘I now have a wonderful boyfriend, and it is my great pleasure to make him happy in every way I can.’
      • ‘This is the week to indulge in your fondness for sports and pleasures, but beware of scandals.’
      • ‘She also had the satisfaction and pleasure of having a rare bird's-eye-view of the city's landscape.’
      • ‘Eating disorders are an example of the loss of the ability to be satisfied with the simplest pleasure of life.’
      • ‘She lacked a vision of enjoyment of life's pleasures as obedience to the divine will.’
      • ‘Not only does a garden bring some of the pleasures of rural life to the city, with a variety of plant life, it will also attract wildlife.’
      • ‘For your reading pleasure, we are happy to publish a few of the more reasoned responses from a group of very grown up, brave and clear-headed individuals.’
      • ‘All we will feel is a pang of regret for the times when sport seemed such good company, giving us so many pleasures.’
      • ‘But we also get the social pleasures of drink, as hobby and recreation, as lifestyle choice.’
      joy, delight, source of pleasure, enjoyment, amusement, diversion, recreation, pastime, divertissement
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Sensual gratification.
      ‘the touch of his fingers gave her such pleasure’
      • ‘There's a predictable but effective sensual pleasure here.’
      • ‘She introduced him to sensual and sexual pleasure, but her continued liaisons caused him pain.’
      • ‘He was only a man, a man that wanted nothing else than a woman to follow his orders and satisfy his pleasure.’
      • ‘Claire started struggling again at this newfound sensation of pain and pleasure.’
      • ‘His aim is increased sensual pleasure, both now and in the future.’
      • ‘In the name of beauty they can take pain as pleasure, treat suffering as a blessing and regard bitterness as a great enjoyment.’
      • ‘We are notoriously bad at judging what will give us long-term satisfaction versus just short-term pleasure.’
      • ‘Music is the only sensual pleasure without vice.’
      • ‘The here and now is about sensual pleasure, and I don't want thoughts of love ruining that.’
      • ‘Promoting sensual pleasure, selfish interest, consumerism and individualism should not be the ultimate goal.’
      • ‘I imagine many so-called moralists are secretly jealous of teens engaged in pleasure, as opposed to any serious moral valuation they may hold.’
      • ‘His films generally concern the cruel power of obsessional love and the need for sensual pleasure.’
      • ‘It all takes place in a walled garden containing a pool used for either purification or sensual pleasure.’
      • ‘No matter how hard we try to be spiritual, it's sensual pleasure we succumb to.’
      • ‘If a girl could be brought up in the same way as a boy, her sexual potential and her sexual satisfaction, her sexual pleasure could be exactly the same.’
      • ‘The pain receded, the feeling of sensual pleasure slid away from her.’
      • ‘The body has needs that give pleasure when satisfied.’
      • ‘I'm quite disappointed in myself; I expected I'd sneak a smoke here in New York, just for the sheer sensual pleasure of it.’
      • ‘One does not preclude the other - you can experience the ecstasy and the agony of having children and the joy and pleasure of a satisfying love life.’
      • ‘The woman is a person who is to be loved and willed for her own sake, not an object to be taken and used for the man's gratification and pleasure.’
      sensual gratification, hedonism, indulgence, self-indulgence, self-gratification, lack of self-restraint, lotus-eating
      View synonyms


  • attributive Used or intended for entertainment rather than business.

    ‘pleasure boats’
    • ‘I was in Phoenix this past weekend on a combination business and pleasure trip.’
    • ‘The proposed marina will be one of a network of marinas catering for local pleasure craft and for boats circumnavigating the island of Ireland.’
    • ‘This is why Taiwan is staking a claim by moving to a higher end product and allowing China to soak up the less prestigious and demanding pleasure boat business.’
    • ‘It had become a rather frenetic pleasure garden, and was only one among several.’
    • ‘The barking of geese broke the silence, greylags and Canada share open water with oystercatchers; I guess these ponds are soon to be more marinas for the pleasure boats.’
    • ‘The chairman pointed out that a pontoon had been constructed on the west side of the harbour beside the Marina House to facilitate angling boats, pleasure crafts and the diving centre.’
    • ‘The pleasure business is clearly a successful one.’
    • ‘The old harbour will be reworked for smaller boats and pleasure craft.’
    • ‘Many countries may have thought that the people of Pakistan are a prosperous lot as they frequently travel abroad for business or pleasure trips.’
    • ‘Its denim blazer is a stylish item perfect for a business casual office, a date on the town, and even a business or pleasure trip.’
    • ‘There is imminent danger of collapse into the narrow channel that allows fishing boats and pleasure craft access to the deep, protected inner harbour.’
    • ‘Instead of staying cooped up in a hotel room on a mid-week business or pleasure trip to London, take in some of the city's top West End shows.’
    • ‘The senior comrades were certainly keen, clambering about the pleasure boats at a rate that put me to shame, and endlessly asking the tour guide to take their picture in front of some scenic view.’
    • ‘He said at any given time there were up to 2,000 people on ferries, pleasure boats, trawlers and cargo ships off the South East coast and the helicopter service was vital.’
    • ‘Robinson added: " There isn't a market there yet for pleasure boats.’
    • ‘Southend Airport today launched a major campaign to revive short-haul business and pleasure flights to Europe.’
    • ‘Intense winds can capsize even large pleasure boats.’
    • ‘But there were not just pleasure boats on the canal.’
    • ‘Memory is brutally selective as I recall past family holidays, particularly one on Loch Ness when I managed to steer our hired cruiser into a passenger pleasure boat.’
    • ‘I recognized the unpleasant sensation immediately from a business and pleasure trip to Thailand I took in '98.’


[with object]
  • 1Give sexual enjoyment or satisfaction to.

    ‘tell me what will pleasure you’
    • ‘The small motel room echoed with her moans of satisfaction and his sighs of pleasuring her.’
    • ‘I lived in Banbury Road and was walking through Bevington Road late at night and witnessed a middle-aged man pleasuring himself by the phone box.’
    • ‘These techniques are just suggestions - most guys will tell you what they like or you can experiment with other ways of pleasuring him.’
    • ‘Which newsreader was fired by her network telly bosses after security video managed to catch her orally pleasuring a lucky pilot on the station's roof top helicopter pad?’
    • ‘Popular advice for young men and, oddly, for young women, often seems to be centred on pleasuring men.’
    • ‘Remember when Chandler switched channels just as Monica came home, leading her to think he was pleasuring himself in front of a nature program?’
    • ‘It is a wonderful, and natural, way of releasing sexual tension, and pleasuring one's self.’
    1. 1.1pleasure inno object Derive enjoyment from.
      ‘risky verbal exchanges that the pair might pleasure in’
      • ‘They are a kind of pleasuring in the language.’
      • ‘My dear, I used to think I was serving humanity and I pleasured in the thought.’


  • at Her (or His) Majesty's pleasure

    • Detained in a British prison.

      ‘his sharp practice cost him a term at Her Majesty's pleasure’
      • ‘On two occasions he brought up his time spent at Her Majesty's pleasure (in fact telling me that if I was a writer and comedian and wanted to get some material I should really go to prison).’
      • ‘It's only bad luck and getting caught that has caused him to be spending time at Her Majesty's pleasure.’
      • ‘Julian Spalding, an internationally renowned art expert, claims aspiring students would get a better grounding in the basics of painting and sculpture if they spent a period at Her Majesty's pleasure.’
      • ‘She was sentenced to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure and released on licence in 1980.’
      • ‘Crime was an integral part of the family's history - Eddie's mother had already had her collar felt and was serving time at Her Majesty's pleasure.’
      • ‘But what might keep people awake at night is the thought that company directors found to have turned a blind eye to the use of pirate software in their organisation can find themselves being entertained at Her Majesty's pleasure.’
      • ‘If you were civic-minded you could foot the bill for ten teachers' salaries or keep the same number of criminals in gruel and water for a year at Her Majesty's pleasure.’
      • ‘With so much potential for ripping people off, it's surprising more magicians don't spend the odd holiday at Her Majesty's pleasure.’
      • ‘Yet at the same time the State-funded prison system allows those at Her Majesty's pleasure to smoke.’
      • ‘This is not quelled by maturity, or a mere 12-year spell at Her Majesty's pleasure.’
  • at someone's pleasure

    • As and when someone wishes.

      ‘the landlord could terminate the agreement at his pleasure’
      • ‘It was never enough to read and fill my mind with rich thoughts, to call upon at my pleasure, for I wished to summon them all at once in a moment of supreme consciousness.’
      • ‘They don't value families; they value having the authority to control others or punish them at their pleasure.’
      • ‘Well, I serve, obviously, at the president 's pleasure.’
      • ‘The next morning you can loaf around at your pleasure, and in the afternoon there will be a demonstration of a back massage, followed by gentle exercise and some stimulating oils to prepare you for your journey home.’
      • ‘He resides in this country at our pleasure, on a temporary protection visa, and has no right to call himself Australian yet.’
      • ‘Yes, many people like the book, and it would be stony-hearted of me not to be pleased at their pleasure.’
      • ‘However, to appease smokers, ashtrays are to be erected outside the foyer where people will be able to smoke at their pleasure.’
      • ‘Do you, Senator, want judges and mayors to be able, at their pleasure, to render laws useless?’
      • ‘The liberty of the subject is not safe when they can imprison at their pleasure, and keep men in jail till their health is impaired, without even the form of a trial.’
      • ‘Department managers, once kings and queens of their own domains, would serve at the mayor 's pleasure as his cabinet.’
  • have the pleasure of something (or of doing something)

    • Used in formal requests and descriptions.

      ‘he asked if he might have the pleasure of taking her to lunch’
      • ‘Now someone else is going to have the pleasure of it, and it may be that he or she will appreciate it even more than I would.’
      • ‘For those who have never had the pleasure of a flight into a combat zone, let me describe your loss.’
      • ‘Now I just want to have the pleasure of seeing the best of it too!’
      • ‘I didn't ever have the pleasure of knowing him, Larry.’
      • ‘Now such readers who are housebound, agoraphobic or simply stuck at work all day can have the pleasure of browsing the highbrow press without even getting out of their chairs.’
      • ‘‘I don't think that person's going to have the pleasure of it,’ I said.’
      • ‘Or you can stay on my train, where I'll have the pleasure of taking you up towards Edgware Road.’
      • ‘You may guess all you want, but you will never have the pleasure of knowing you are correct.’
      • ‘But that means you don't have the pleasure of adorning the tree, or the season-ending finality of returning the ornaments to their boxes.’
      • ‘Great fun was had by all while filling the boxes but this will be nothing compared to the awesome wonder and happiness experienced by the children who will have the pleasure of opening them!’
  • my pleasure

    • Used as a polite reply to thanks.

      ‘‘Oh, thank you!’ ‘My pleasure.’’
      • ‘Besides, it was my pleasure to review you in the first place.’
      • ‘Even when I ask for more Polynesian sauce they still reply, "My pleasure."’
      • ‘Plus I will buy you a drink or even several… believe me, that would be my pleasure.’
      • ‘‘It is my pleasure,’ Ethan said, shaking both of their hands and sitting down at the glossy table with Steve.’
      • ‘I looked at him and said, "Thanks a lot, Steve, that was really good." He lifted his hand and said, "It's my pleasure."’
      • ‘‘It was my pleasure,’ he replied as he pulled out a half a loaf of bread, some meat and cheese.’
  • take pleasure in

    • Derive happiness or enjoyment from.

      ‘they take a perverse pleasure in causing trouble’
      • ‘Whether you're a city dweller or a country bumpkin like myself, it seems that we all take pleasure in what nature holds for us.’
      • ‘In other words, if we take pleasure in what God has given us, He'll give us more.’
      • ‘When this work is complete the river will become something to take pleasure in again, rather than being an eyesore.’
      • ‘Your partner may also love it or will simply take pleasure in your happiness.’
      • ‘Happiness is the art of taking pleasure in what you have.’
      • ‘There were times when she seemed almost to take pleasure in that.’
      • ‘The idea is to get some experience under your belt, make some cash and take pleasure in what you're doing.’
      • ‘If you want to be happy, you have to take pleasure in what you have.’
      • ‘Our work is not drudgery, but something we are to take pleasure in today.’
      • ‘We got in touch with other writers and we have pulled together a few items for you to, hopefully, take pleasure in.’
      enjoy, delight in, love, like, adore, be entertained by, be amused by, be pleased by, appreciate, relish, savour, revel in, glory in
      View synonyms
  • what's your pleasure?

    • What would you like? (used especially when offering someone a choice)

      ‘‘What's your pleasure?’ ‘A cappuccino, please.’’
      • ‘What's your guilty pleasure film wise?’
      • ‘Come on tell me. What's your pleasure? Vodka and cherry. Shaken, not stirred.’
      wish, desire, preference, will, inclination, choice, option
      View synonyms
  • with pleasure

    • Gladly (used to express polite agreement or acceptance)

      ‘‘Would you mind telling me how far it is to this address?’ ‘With pleasure.’’
      • ‘It is with pleasure that I make a contribution on Part 1 of the Supreme Court Bill.’
      • ‘In front of the goals, Malcolm Ross accepted the ball with pleasure and he scored seven goals.’
      • ‘I always knew that what I did was putting me in real danger, but I did it with pleasure.’
      • ‘He was in marvellous form, I noted with pleasure, and he had no intention of staying in bed.’
      • ‘The members of the Orpington Friendship Club often look forward with pleasure to the various talks offered during the year.’
      • ‘He was in fact the worker of extraordinary things, the teacher of men who accept the truth with pleasure.’
      • ‘I have been seeking a call for some time, and it is with pleasure that I rise to speak against Part 2.’
      • ‘I was flattered and somewhat surprised, but accepted with pleasure.’
      • ‘They could have the table with pleasure - in return for a signed photo for his friend Mike.’
      gladly, willingly, happily, readily, cheerfully, by all means, of course
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French plaisir ‘to please’ (used as a noun). The second syllable was altered under the influence of abstract nouns ending in -ure, such as measure.