What does pleasure mean?

Definitions for pleasure
ˈplɛʒ ərplea·sure

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word pleasure.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pleasure, pleasancenoun

    a fundamental feeling that is hard to define but that people desire to experience

    "he was tingling with pleasure"

  2. joy, delight, pleasurenoun

    something or someone that provides a source of happiness

    "a joy to behold"; "the pleasure of his company"; "the new car is a delight"

  3. pleasurenoun

    a formal expression

    "he serves at the pleasure of the President"

  4. pleasurenoun

    an activity that affords enjoyment

    "he puts duty before pleasure"

  5. pleasurenoun

    sexual gratification

    "he took his pleasure of her"


  1. pleasurenoun

    a state of being pleased

  2. pleasurenoun

    a person, thing or action that causes enjoyment

  3. pleasurenoun

    one's preference

    What is your pleasure, coffee or tea?

  4. pleasurenoun

    the will or desire of someone or some agency in power

  5. pleasureverb

    to give pleasure (especially sexual pleasure) to

    Johnny pleasured Jackie orally last night.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PLEASUREnoun

    Etymology: plaisir, French.

    Pleasure, in general, is the consequent apprehension of a suitable object, suitably applied to a rightly disposed faculty. Robert South, Sermons.

    A cause of men’s taking pleasure in the sins of others, is, that poor spiritedness that accompanies guilt. Robert South, Sermons.

    In hollow caves sweet echo quiet lies;
    Her name with pleasure once she taught the shore,
    Now Daphne’s dead, and pleasure is no more. Alexander Pope.

    Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,
    And yet seem cold. William Shakespeare.

    Behold yon dame does shake the head to hear of pleasure’s name. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Not sunk in carnal pleasure. John Milton.

    The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him. Psalms.

    Use your pleasure; if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Venice.

    He will do his pleasure on Babylon. Is. xlviii.

    We ascribe not only effects depending on the natural period of time unto arbitrary calculations, and such as vary at pleasure, but confirm our tenets by the uncertain account of others. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours, b. iv.

    Half their fleet offends
    His open side, and high above him shews;
    Upon the rest at pleasure he descends,
    And doubly harm’d, he double harm bestows. Dryden.

    Raise tempests at your pleasure. Dryden.

    We can at pleasure move several parts of our bodies John Locke.

    All the land in their dominions being acquired by conquest, was disposed by them according to their pleasure. Arbuthnot.

  2. To Pleasureverb

    To please; to gratify. This word, though supported by good authority, is, I think, inelegant.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Things, thus set in order,
    Shall further thy harvest, and pleasure thee best. Thomas Tusser.

    I count it one of my greatest afflictions, that I cannot pleasure such an honourable gentleman. William Shakespeare.

    If what pleases him, shall pleasure you,
    Fight closer, or good faith you’ll catch a blow. William Shakespeare.

    When the way of pleasuring and displeasuring lieth by the favourite, it is impossible any should be overgreat. Francis Bacon.

    Nothing is difficult to love; it will make a man cross his own inclinations to pleasure them whom he loves. John Tillotson.


  1. pleasure

    Pleasure is a positive emotional state or feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment that is derived from the experience of gratifying or enjoyable activities, experiences, or stimuli. It is often associated with feelings of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment. Pleasure can vary greatly among individuals and may be triggered by various sources such as food, social interactions, hobbies, entertainment, or engaging in pleasurable physical sensations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pleasurenoun

    the gratification of the senses or of the mind; agreeable sensations or emotions; the excitement, relish, or happiness produced by the expectation or the enjoyment of something good, delightful, or satisfying; -- opposed to pain, sorrow, etc

  2. Pleasurenoun

    amusement; sport; diversion; self-indulgence; frivolous or dissipating enjoyment; hence, sensual gratification; -- opposed to labor, service, duty, self-denial, etc

  3. Pleasurenoun

    what the will dictates or prefers as gratifying or satisfying; hence, will; choice; wish; purpose

  4. Pleasurenoun

    that which pleases; a favor; a gratification

  5. Pleasureverb

    to give or afford pleasure to; to please; to gratify

  6. Pleasureverb

    to take pleasure; to seek pursue pleasure; as, to go pleasuring


  1. Pleasure

    Pleasure describes the broad class of mental states that humans and other animals experience as positive, enjoyable, or worth seeking. It includes more specific mental states such as happiness, entertainment, enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria. In psychology, the pleasure principle describes pleasure as a positive feedback mechanism, motivating the organism to recreate in the future the situation which it has just found pleasurable. According to this theory, organisms are similarly motivated to avoid situations that have caused pain in the past. The experience of pleasure is subjective and different individuals will experience different kinds and amounts of pleasure in the same situation. Many pleasurable experiences are associated with satisfying basic biological drives, such as eating, exercise, sex or defecation. Other pleasurable experiences are associated with social experiences and social drives, such as the experiences of accomplishment, recognition, and service. The appreciation of cultural artifacts and activities such as art, music, and literature is often pleasurable. In recent years, significant progress has been made in understanding the brain mechanisms underlying pleasure. One of the key discoveries was made by Kent C. Berridge who has shown that pleasure is not a unitary experience. Rather, pleasure consists of multiple brain processes including liking, wanting and learning subserved by distinct yet partially overlapping brain networks. In particular, this research has been helped by the use of objective pleasure-elicited reactions in humans and other animals such as the behavioral ‘liking’/‘disliking’ facial expressions to tastes that are homologous between humans and many other mammals.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Pleasure

    Sensation of enjoyment or gratification.

Editors Contribution

  1. pleasure

    An activity that creates joy, unity and love.

    The simple pleasure of life is being loved for who you are.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 23, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. pleasure

    Song lyrics by pleasure -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by pleasure on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. Pleasure

    Leisure vs. Pleasure -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Leisure and Pleasure.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pleasure is ranked #119508 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Pleasure surname appeared 145 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Pleasure.

    70.3% or 102 total occurrences were Black.
    20% or 29 total occurrences were White.
    5.5% or 8 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    4.1% or 6 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pleasure' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1990

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pleasure' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2646

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pleasure' in Nouns Frequency: #793

How to pronounce pleasure?

How to say pleasure in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pleasure in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pleasure in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of pleasure in a Sentence

  1. Annamaria Lamanna:

    Via Sant'Andrea is becoming ever more important inside the quadrangle thanks to the opening of new stores. And it's a pleasure for the eyes.

  2. Horace Rumpole:

    There's no pleasure on earth that's worth sacrificing for the sake of an extra five years in the geriatric ward of the Sunset Old People's Home, Weston-Super-Mare.

  3. Sir John Vanbrugh:

    Virtue is its own reward. There's a pleasure in doing good which sufficiently pays itself.

  4. John Gay:

    How the mother is to be pitied who hath handsome daughters! Locks, bolts, bars, and lectures of morality are nothing to them: they break through them all. They have as much pleasure in cheating a father and mother, as in cheating at cards.

  5. William Faulkner:

    Business is always interfering with pleasure, but it makes other pleasures possible.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for pleasure

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"pleasure." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 4 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pleasure>.

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    a shortage of rainfall
    • A. humility
    • B. bash
    • C. drought
    • D. staff

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