Definition of pleasure in English:



  • 1A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.

    ‘she smiled with pleasure at being praised’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was no uncertainty, no wavering, no hesitation, nor was there any mirth, any pleasure, any satisfaction.’
    • ‘Everyone present expressed satisfaction, approval, pleasure and delight at being in attendance.’
    • ‘Do you think that I would do this for my own satisfaction or pleasure?’
    • ‘Being happy and feeling pleasure are good things that you need not ever deny yourself.’
    • ‘The good is not mere satisfaction or pleasure, but that which satisfies a person as a human.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What I want to do is to give my customers the 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.’
    • ‘More blood two days before the party gave her the boost she needed, and left us all with a happy memory of her pleasure.’
    • ‘Canace had smiled in joy and pleasure, although she didn't completely understand.’
    • ‘He crossed the line rubbing his hands together gleefully, with all the pure pleasure of a happy 15 year old boy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One gains the greatest type of satisfaction and pleasure from doing the right thing, and as a result the two choices merge into one.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sometimes your only compensation will be the satisfaction and pleasure of your own personal achievements; it may not be your placings.’
    • ‘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.’
    happiness, delight, joy, gladness, rapture, glee, satisfaction, gratification, fulfilment, contentment, contentedness, enjoyment, amusement
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    1. 1.1 Enjoyment and entertainment, contrasted with things done out of necessity.
      ‘she had not traveled for pleasure for a long time’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He allowed no expenditure for entertainments or pleasure.’
      • ‘Some parts of the building are for entertainment, pleasure, and relaxation; others for work and for meeting outsiders.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This seems quite strange to the modern sensibility, which associates organised travel purely with relaxation and pleasure.’
      • ‘The toy is a tool for pleasure, leisure, and entertainment.’
      • ‘Read it for all the same reasons that you would read the novels - for boundless entertainment and for pure pleasure.’
      • ‘Glasgow has become a place of leisure, pleasure 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.’
      • ‘Attempts to create a more patriotic and disciplined culture soon reshaped what remained of popular pleasure and entertainment.’
      • ‘It is giving away, or not indulging in, pleasure for entertainment's sake.’
      • ‘On the second conception, all we want, when we want to be happy, is pleasure.’
      • ‘We must think of ourselves, not in terms of the satisfaction we get, from what we eat, or enjoy as pleasure, or entertainment today.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘People have been skiing since 3000BC, but the birth of modern skiing - for pleasure rather than necessity - only began in the late nineteenth century.’
      • ‘It turns obligation into pleasure, a daily necessity into a celebration.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘Parents want more from their children's entertainment than mere pleasure.’
      enjoyment, fun, entertainment, amusement, diversion, recreation, leisure, relaxation
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    2. 1.2 An event or activity from which one derives enjoyment.
      ‘the car makes driving in the city a pleasure’
      • ‘She also had the satisfaction and pleasure of having a rare bird's-eye-view of the city's landscape.’
      • ‘They have an inclination for pleasures and they desire to revel in them for ever.’
      • ‘The central pleasure of a truly satisfying memoir is the narrator's ability to reflect, artfully and persuasively.’
      • ‘Eating disorders are an example of the loss of the ability to be satisfied with the simplest pleasure of life.’
      • ‘This is the week to indulge in your fondness for sports and pleasures, but beware of scandals.’
      • ‘He was a precocious genius, became famous very early, and for a while tasted society life and the pleasure of entertainment and diversion.’
      • ‘This also embraces your innate inclination towards the leisurely enjoyment of life's pleasures.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I resist the view that the pleasures of fiction derive from its purely thought-experimental aspects.’
      • ‘But we also get the social pleasures of drink, as hobby and recreation, as lifestyle choice.’
      • ‘I now have a wonderful boyfriend, and it is my great pleasure to make him happy in every way I can.’
      • ‘All we will feel is a pang of regret for the times when sport seemed such good company, giving us so many pleasures.’
      • ‘His own interest in food lay in the pleasures to be derived from it.’
      • ‘She lacked a vision of enjoyment of life's pleasures as obedience to the divine will.’
      • ‘But do not renounce the pleasure of being happy and of making for happiness in this.’
      • ‘It is undoubtedly true that the pleasures of smoking are derived from the actions of nicotine on the central nervous system.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This movie was one of the unexpected pleasures of the Toronto International Film Festival.’
      • ‘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.’
      joy, delight, source of pleasure, enjoyment, amusement, diversion, recreation, pastime, divertissement
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    3. 1.3 Sensual gratification.
      • ‘Music is the only sensual pleasure without vice.’
      • ‘In the name of beauty they can take pain as pleasure, treat suffering as a blessing and regard bitterness as a great enjoyment.’
      • ‘It all takes place in a walled garden containing a pool used for either purification or sensual pleasure.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Claire started struggling again at this newfound sensation of pain and pleasure.’
      • ‘We are notoriously bad at judging what will give us long-term satisfaction versus just short-term pleasure.’
      • ‘The here and now is about sensual pleasure, and I don't want thoughts of love ruining that.’
      • ‘No matter how hard we try to be spiritual, it's sensual pleasure we succumb to.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Promoting sensual pleasure, selfish interest, consumerism and individualism should not be the ultimate goal.’
      • ‘There's a predictable but effective sensual pleasure here.’
      • ‘His aim is increased sensual pleasure, both now and in the future.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was only a man, a man that wanted nothing else than a woman to follow his orders and satisfy his pleasure.’
      • ‘The body has needs that give pleasure when satisfied.’
      • ‘I imagine many so-called moralists are secretly jealous of teens engaged in pleasure, as opposed to any serious moral valuation they may hold.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The pain receded, the feeling of sensual pleasure slid away from her.’
      • ‘His films generally concern the cruel power of obsessional love and the need for sensual pleasure.’
      • ‘She introduced him to sensual and sexual pleasure, but her continued liaisons caused him pain.’
      sensual gratification, hedonism, indulgence, self-indulgence, self-gratification, lack of self-restraint, lotus-eating
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  • [attributive] Used or intended for entertainment rather than business.

    ‘pleasure boats’
    • ‘The old harbour will be reworked for smaller boats and pleasure craft.’
    • ‘I was in Phoenix this past weekend on a combination business and pleasure trip.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The pleasure business is clearly a successful one.’
    • ‘But there were not just pleasure boats on the canal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I recognized the unpleasant sensation immediately from a business and pleasure trip to Thailand I took in '98.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The proposed marina will be one of a network of marinas catering for local pleasure craft and for boats circumnavigating the island of Ireland.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many countries may have thought that the people of Pakistan are a prosperous lot as they frequently travel abroad for business or pleasure trips.’
    • ‘Intense winds can capsize even large pleasure boats.’
    • ‘There is imminent danger of collapse into the narrow channel that allows fishing boats and pleasure craft access to the deep, protected inner harbour.’
    • ‘Southend Airport today launched a major campaign to revive short-haul business and pleasure flights to Europe.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It had become a rather frenetic pleasure garden, and was only one among several.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Robinson added: " There isn't a market there yet for pleasure boats.’


  • 1 Give sexual enjoyment or satisfaction to.

    ‘tell me what will pleasure you’
    • ‘Popular advice for young men and, oddly, for young women, often seems to be centred on pleasuring men.’
    • ‘These techniques are just suggestions - most guys will tell you what they like or you can experiment with other ways of pleasuring him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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 in[no object] Derive enjoyment from.
      ‘risky verbal exchanges that the pair might pleasure in’
      • ‘My dear, I used to think I was serving humanity and I pleasured in the thought.’
      • ‘They are a kind of pleasuring in the language.’


  • at someone's pleasure

    • As and when someone wishes.

      ‘the landlord could terminate the agreement at his pleasure’
      • ‘Yes, many people like the book, and it would be stony-hearted of me not to be pleased at their pleasure.’
      • ‘Well, I serve, obviously, at the president 's pleasure.’
      • ‘Do you, Senator, want judges and mayors to be able, at their pleasure, to render laws useless?’
      • ‘Department managers, once kings and queens of their own domains, would serve at the mayor 's pleasure as his cabinet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He resides in this country at our pleasure, on a temporary protection visa, and has no right to call himself Australian yet.’
      • ‘They don't value families; they value having the authority to control others or punish them 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • have the pleasure of something

    • Used in formal requests and descriptions.

      ‘he asked if he might have the pleasure of taking her to lunch’
      • ‘Or you can stay on my train, where I'll have the pleasure of taking you up towards Edgware Road.’
      • ‘‘I don't think that person's going to have the pleasure of it,’ I said.’
      • ‘You may guess all you want, but you will never have the pleasure of knowing you are correct.’
      • ‘For those who have never had the pleasure of a flight into a combat zone, let me describe your loss.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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 didn't ever have the pleasure of knowing him, Larry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now I just want to have the pleasure of seeing the best of it too!’
  • my pleasure

    • Used as a polite reply to thanks.

      ‘“Oh, thank you!” “My pleasure.”’
      • ‘I looked at him and said, "Thanks a lot, Steve, that was really good." He lifted his hand and said, "It's 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.’
      • ‘Even when I ask for more Polynesian sauce they still reply, "My pleasure."’
      • ‘Besides, it was my pleasure to review you in the first place.’
      • ‘‘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’
      • ‘When this work is complete the river will become something to take pleasure in again, rather than being an eyesore.’
      • ‘Our work is not drudgery, but something we are to take pleasure in today.’
      • ‘The idea is to get some experience under your belt, make some cash and take pleasure in what you're doing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There were times when she seemed almost to take pleasure in that.’
      • ‘Your partner may also love it or will simply take pleasure in your happiness.’
      • ‘If you want to be happy, you have to take pleasure in what you have.’
      • ‘In other words, if we take pleasure in what God has given us, He'll give us more.’
      • ‘Happiness is the art of taking pleasure in what you have.’
      • ‘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
      get a kick out of, get a thrill out of
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  • 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
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  • with pleasure

    • Gladly (used to express polite agreement or acceptance)

      • ‘In front of the goals, Malcolm Ross accepted the ball with pleasure and he scored seven goals.’
      • ‘He was in marvellous form, I noted with pleasure, and he had no intention of staying in bed.’
      • ‘I always knew that what I did was putting me in real danger, but I did it with pleasure.’
      • ‘I have been seeking a call for some time, and it is with pleasure that I rise to speak against Part 2.’
      • ‘It is with pleasure that I make a contribution on Part 1 of the Supreme Court Bill.’
      • ‘I was flattered and somewhat surprised, but accepted with pleasure.’
      • ‘He was in fact the worker of extraordinary things, the teacher of men who accept the truth with pleasure.’
      • ‘The members of the Orpington Friendship Club often look forward with pleasure to the various talks offered during the year.’
      • ‘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
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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.