Definition of please in US 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dancers before him danced and twirled just for him and it pleased him.’
    • ‘And there can be little doubt that, if nothing else, it pleased the Commission and Commissioner.’
    • ‘All we can say is that it pleased the Lord to do this.’
    • ‘Yet Katherine saw the small mistake, and it pleased her.’
    • ‘It pleased him to know that he might go on, far away from this place.’
    • ‘It pleased me no end, trying to make amends for many years of imposed suppression.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Though it pleased them that the fight was finally over, their losses were overwhelming.’
    • ‘Now only happiness lay before them and it pleased her well.’
    • ‘It pleased him so much to see her doing new things and living her life.’
    • ‘It pleased me to know that he was a very good conversationalist, and was capable of holding intelligent conversation for more than two seconds.’
    • ‘It pleased him, though he couldn't think of any useful advice he'd given.’
    • ‘It grieved her for the same reason it pleased her.’
    • ‘I could hear a smile over the line and it pleased me.’
    • ‘I knew they were just anxious to get started, and it pleased me.’
    • ‘He loved the city and it pleased him that she was interested in its history.’
    • ‘It pleased me to see New Jersey State Troopers out in force at the Newark airport.’
    • ‘He said it pleased him, and he was flattered not offended…’
    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.’
      • ‘These Edinburgh festivals generate noise and excitement and their proliferation pleases and astonishes.’
      • ‘The hotel offers rooms of five-star quality at four or even three-star prices and is notably eager to please.’
      • ‘I was your typical white girl growing up in the suburbs - too nice, too eager to please.’
      • ‘You get little respect and sometimes get lots of scorn, but yet you are faithful and eager to please.’
      • ‘Eager to please, Adam even has plastic surgery - a barely discernible nose job.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She's a little bit wild, eager to please, sexually adventurous and willing to do what they want.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Sanctuary itself was spectacularly built and was very aesthetically pleasing to the eye.’
      • ‘He was looking down at him like a puppy dog, eager to please but at the same time unable to speak his mind.’
      • ‘Eager as ever to please, here's just two of the many dissertations we received.’
      • ‘They like when I push them to the extremes of their body and they are always eager to please.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A keen worker, Manuel is eager to please but possesses a poor command of the English language.’
      • ‘He is, by inclination, eager to please, keen to win support within his party and go with the political grain.’
      • ‘It may be equally frustrating to children who are eager to please, obtain approval, and gain parental acceptance.’
      • ‘Even the most eager to please and intelligent dog will need these rules reinforced all the time.’
      • ‘I find myself behaving like the good little Catholic boy I was raised to be: deferential, eager to please.’
      friendly, amiable, pleasant, agreeable, affable, nice, genial, likeable, good-humoured, charming, engaging, winning, delightful
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Satisfy aesthetically.
      • ‘Display areas were created in which glass cases were as densely packed as possible without much regard to an aesthetically pleasing installation.’
      • ‘Get out of your rut of voting for the aesthetically pleasing contestant with no vocal talent, and pick the ones who can sing.’
      • ‘The coloring looks good throughout, always vibrant and always pleasing to the eye.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The practice of counting pitches has all but eliminated the aesthetically pleasing complete game performance.’
      • ‘They do not recognize how aesthetically pleasing your site is but rather will digest the content of your site to understand its subject matter.’
      • ‘Moreover, the numerous wineries and vineyards were quite aesthetically pleasing to the eye.’
      • ‘The patient will use an aesthetically pleasing reconstruction.’
      • ‘A woman's body is deemed to be valuable only as long as it satisfies men or pleases others in the society.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was ‘attractive and pleasing, both within and without’, and in its heyday could seat 1,000 worshippers.’
      • ‘But I also didn't expect the modern yet historic and aesthetically pleasing city I found myself in this weekend.’
      • ‘My aesthetically pleasing black borders are back!’
      • ‘We all want a safer, cleaner and a more aesthetically pleasing community.’
      • ‘It wasn't just because of the camaraderie of the legends, but because of the aesthetically pleasing physiques they built as well.’
      • ‘The surgeon also strives for a functional repair of the muscles and an aesthetically pleasing approximation of the skin edges.’
      • ‘Such vitriol toughened her up for the less aesthetically pleasing career of boxing.’
      • ‘The participants would be bringing aesthetically pleasing furniture suitable for those living in tiny accommodations.’
      • ‘An aesthetically pleasing city with clean air would make cycling and walking more pleasurable.’
      • ‘‘We're trying to make the garden more visually pleasing and also attract inner town wildlife,’ said Mr Goldie.’
      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.’
    • ‘I was trying so hard to please myself, I was turning into somebody else.’
    • ‘Many of these women aborted not to please themselves, but to preserve relationships: with their mothers, with their families in general, with their boyfriends.’
    • ‘They please themselves whether they serve or not.’
    • ‘If you're just pleasing yourself, why not save it for home?’
    • ‘I tend to follow my instincts and please myself.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, there are still some parish councillors who get elected or co-opted and then believe they can please 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.’
    • ‘Busier than ever, she is happily married with two young children and plans to spend her fifties pleasing herself and exploring other avenues.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yes, we aim to please others; however, I firmly believe we should please ourselves first.’
    • ‘The glory of being older is that we can be ourselves and please ourselves.’
    • ‘They're most interested in pleasing themselves, like some of the people you're forced to deal with.’
    • ‘On the show, there's this really delicate balance between pleasing ourselves, just making ourselves happy, and making the audience happy.’
    • ‘Everybody was just into pleasing themselves, to such a point that there was no room for any relationship.’
    • ‘The healthy freaks will please themselves with the newest diet and healthy food.’
    • ‘All over the country, harassed parents are frantically trying to decide how to entertain their offspring, rather than pleasing themselves.’
    • ‘I don't conform unless I choose to, and, frankly, I please myself.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1no object Wish or desire to do something.
      ‘feel free to wander around as you please’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Users of such indices can pick and choose as they please in this evolving garden of relationships.’
      • ‘But shoppers can't come and go as they please, nor can they always choose the food they want.’
      • ‘I defend a private club's right to recruit membership as they please.’
      • ‘Visitors will be able to come and go as they please, and there will be collecting boxes for them to make a donation.’
      • ‘If her relatives do not like it, they can do 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘More commonly, people seem to opt in and out of the traditional system as they please, positioning themselves to their greatest advantage.’
      • ‘People in life quote as they please, so we have the right to quote as we please.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And the soft drink industry says students should have the freedom to eat as they please unless their parents say otherwise.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Agitate for the freedoms of everyone to worship as they please.’
      • ‘I understand that editors can hire and fire as they please.’
      • ‘For that reason I don't accept the unconditional authority of states to treat their citizens as they please.’
      • ‘‘Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please,’ warned Karl Marx.’
      • ‘That means governments can spend them 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘If it pleases you to advance and research this theory, then please the more power to you.’
      • ‘Please, if it pleases you to laugh at the dog - do so.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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!’

adverb

  • 1Used in polite requests or questions.

    ‘please address letters to the Editor’
    ‘what type of fish is this, 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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For a full list of questions, please visit the Background Briefing website.’
    • ‘If you have questions about this, please let me know.’
    • ‘If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us again.’
    • ‘Would the right honourable Prime Minister please address the question briefly.’
    • ‘Would you ask the Minister to address the question please.’
    • ‘If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.’
    • ‘It is not a rhetorical question, so please do me and anyone else reading along here the courtesy of a reply.’
    • ‘Would the Prime Minister please address the question.’
    • ‘If you have any questions, please direct all queries to Greg Popcak.’
    • ‘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 specific questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact your state editor or the network editor.’
    • ‘These unnecessary asides only waste the time of the House, so would the Minister please just address the question.’
    • ‘If you have any questions please address them to this group.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘We have a lot of readers, so if someone knows the answer to the following question, please leave it in a comment.’
    • ‘This may be a stupid question, but please forgive my ignorance.’
    • ‘So if anyone has more questions please feel free to email me.’
    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!’
      • ‘There's only a little over a week to decide. Please, please, please!’
      • ‘So please please please vote for the lovely Vaughan.’
      • ‘A note to bloggers: please, please make your links open in new windows.’
      • ‘Please, please, please tell me they are still going to do this.’
      • ‘Please, please do not destroy those palm trees.’
      • ‘Please please please understand that if I cause any offence to anybody, at all, anywhere, I apologise fulsomely and unreservedly.’
      • ‘Please, please let's get to work on this building and make sure it has some kind of future.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you feel envy from his mind - well, I ask that you please ignore the emotion.’
      • ‘Please, please return to your original format.’
      • ‘Thanks in advance, and please, please travel home to us safely.’
      • ‘Please oh please oh please oh please oh please let it pass.’
      • ‘If you feel the same please, please, please let me know.’
      • ‘So please, please, keep your presents rolling in!’
      • ‘Please, please do not infect your output with the tired diatribes of this ageing and out-of-touch right-wing bigot.’
      • ‘Please, please, can we have a little perspective?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While you're there, please, please, don't take a stroll along the Riverwalk.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But until we can help you get those things, please, please don't push us too far.’
    2. 1.2 Used to agree politely to a request.
      ‘“May I call you at home?” “Please do.”’
      • ‘Yes, Please Do Come In.’
      • ‘Actually, yes, please do erase everything on my ipod.’
      • ‘‘Yes, yes, please do,’ I would coo soothingly, anxious not to disturb his flow.’
    3. 1.3 Used in polite or emphatic acceptance of an offer.
      ‘“Would you like a drink?” “Yes, please.”’
      • ‘Yes please Cath; that's the best offer I've had from any woman in months.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘Yes, please, because at this time in my country it is really bad.’
      • ‘I can't imagine there would have been too many cries of, Yes please.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘And she says yes, please, are you free this evening?’
    4. 1.4 Used to ask someone to stop doing something of which the speaker disapproves.
      ‘Rita, please—people are looking’
      • ‘Many young people are, regrettably, disabled by illness or accident, so please will you stop and consider this before launching into a reprimand?’
      • ‘They are non-stop party favourites for a party you hope will stop, soon, please.’
      • ‘So please, stop pretending that the motivations for this are inexplicable.’
      • ‘Don't give me that look please, stop begging me with your glances.’
      • ‘‘Ilse, please stop,’ Niklas pleaded, clenching his fists and leaning on the chair.’
      • ‘And please, stop emailing me asking when I am going to get your bio/picture up.’
      • ‘But please stop thinking you know so much about me, because frankly it's getting boring.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But please stop posting that particular conspiracy theory.’
    5. 1.5 Used to express incredulity or irritation.
      ‘You cleaned out the barn in only two hours? Oh, please!’
      • ‘Oh please! So Meg's foie gras post is up.’
      • ‘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.’

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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They're gone and he's sneaking up on the place and jerking doors open and windows as quick as you please.’
      • ‘Stay as long as you please then, Mr. Benito, Mr. Kane.’
      • ‘Once you've got the material, you can be as creative as you please with sewing or painting on patterns.’
      • ‘Now, imagine controlling that character and wandering about for as long as you please, taking in the fully interactive and insanely large environments.’
      • ‘Mehinakrota walked in as bold as you please, his head held high.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • if you please

    • 1Used in polite requests.

      ‘follow me, 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.’
      • ‘I'll take another Martini, now, Sproat, if you please.’
      • ‘Kindly draw the water while I change my dress, 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.’
      • ‘And you may follow, if you please, or keep to public streets.’
      • ‘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.’
      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!’
      • ‘Post-concert champagne and cigars in the Lace Market Hotel, 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.’
      • ‘No, she uses them as arsenal, weapons of mass distraction, if you please.’
      • ‘So, if you please, don't automatically hate all yuppies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I need to be at least 2 preferably 5 kilometers away now if you please!’
      • ‘We must adopt the promised land mindset, 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…’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

please

/plēz//pliz/