Definition of pleasantry in US English:



usually pleasantries
  • 1An inconsequential remark made as part of a polite conversation.

    ‘after an exchange of pleasantries, I proceeded to outline a plan’
    • ‘However, the exchange of pleasantries before a ball was kicked offered no indication that there was to be any of the hostility hinted at in the morning papers.’
    • ‘After the introductions were done they exchanged pleasantries with Caitlyn who answered politely to all of them.’
    • ‘Going by the political wrangling in Zambia, one would think that our political leaders do not even have a minute for each other to exchange any pleasantries.’
    • ‘Only once such pleasantries were exchanged, did conversation really get interesting.’
    • ‘After a little exchange of pleasantries, about the weather or some similarly engaging topic, I also like to receive a stamped receipt.’
    • ‘We exchanged pleasantries and he drove off without my answering his question.’
    • ‘We exchange more pleasantries, and so I receive the invitation.’
    • ‘After a few polite pleasantries he put the car into gear and drove off.’
    • ‘I join them; we exchange pleasantries in small voices.’
    • ‘He, however, had no major pleasantries to exchange.’
    • ‘Rheiner and I exchanged pleasantries and both looked at Marius for further instruction.’
    • ‘And off we both went through the rain, pleasantries exchanged and honour satisfied.’
    • ‘Johnson attempted to start conversation with some pleasantries but Bill was not very talkative.’
    • ‘What is really important to me, is to have around me family and good friends that I can count on and exchange pleasantries with, whether this be over a drink or food and even through giving a gift.’
    • ‘After we exchanged pleasantries she asked me about the story I told last week, which detailed my excruciatingly boring job.’
    • ‘The restaurants turn into an ideal venue for the tourists who have come from several countries to meet each other and exchange pleasantries.’
    • ‘Everyone was at the top of the hill, offering words of condolence to Amy, exchanging pleasantries, perhaps even catching up with old friends.’
    • ‘The Commissioner of Police claimed he and the constable exchanged pleasantries - that was his first reaction.’
    • ‘He was as bold as brass as we exchanged pleasantries and thought nothing of the remarks that he had made.’
    • ‘Singh and Kasuri warmly embraced each other and exchanged pleasantries before the large group of international and local media were ushered out of the ornate dining room.’
    banter, badinage
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    1. 1.1 A mild joke.
      ‘he laughed at his own pleasantry’
      • ‘Pleasantry is allowable, not waggery. Besides, even laughter must be kept in check.’
      • ‘He puts on a spectacle so that the guests presume "the whole matter as a well-contrived pleasantry."’
      joke, witticism, quip, jest, gag, witty remark, sally
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Late 16th century: from French plaisanterie, from Old French plaisant ‘pleasing’ (see pleasant).