Definition of pleasure noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpleʒə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpleʒər//
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  1. 1  [uncountable] a state of feeling or being happy or satisfied synonym enjoyment to read for pleasure pleasure (in something/in doing something) He takes no pleasure in his work. pleasure (of something/of doing something) She had the pleasure of seeing him look surprised. (formal) We request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of our daughter Lisa. It gives me great pleasure to introduce our guest speaker. Caring for a sick relative is a task that brings both pleasure and pain. She took pleasure in shocking her parents. Synonymsfunpleasure (a) good time enjoyment (a) great timeThese are all words for the feeling of enjoying yourself, or activities or time that you enjoy.fun (rather informal) the feeling of enjoying yourself; activities that you enjoy:We had a lot of fun at Sarah’s party. Sailing is good/​great fun.pleasure (rather formal) the feeling of enjoying yourself or being satisfied:Reading for pleasure and reading for study are not the same.(a) good time (rather informal) a time that you spend enjoying yourself:We had a good time in Spain.enjoyment (rather formal) the feeling of enjoying yourself:I get a lot of enjoyment from music.pleasure or enjoyment?Enjoyment usually comes from an activity that you do; pleasure can come from something that you do or something that happens:He beamed with pleasure at seeing her. He beamed with enjoyment at seeing her.(a) great time (rather informal) a time that you spend enjoying yourself very much:We had a really great time together.Patterns to do something for fun/​pleasure/​enjoyment great fun/​pleasure/​enjoyment to have fun/​a good time/​a great time to get pleasure/​enjoyment from something to spoil the fun/​somebody’s pleasure/​somebody’s enjoyment See related entries: Happiness
  2. 2  [uncountable] the activity of enjoying yourself, especially in contrast to working Are you in Paris on business or pleasure? Synonymsentertainmentfun recreation relaxation play pleasure amusementThese are all words for things or activities used to entertain people when they are not working.entertainment films, television, music, etc. used to entertain people:There are three bars, with live entertainment seven nights a week.fun (rather informal) behaviour or activities that are not serious but come from a sense of enjoyment:It wasn’t serious—it was all done in fun. We didn’t mean to hurt him. It was just a bit of fun. The lottery provides harmless fun for millions.recreation (rather formal) things people do for enjoyment when they are not working:His only form of recreation is playing football.relaxation (rather formal) things people do to rest and enjoy themselves when they are not working; the ability to relax:I go hill-walking for relaxation.recreation or relaxation?Both these words can be used for a wide range of activities, physical and mental, but relaxation is sometimes used for gentler activities than recreation:I play the flute in a wind band for recreation. I listen to music for relaxation.play things that people, especially children, do for enjoyment rather than as work:the happy sounds of children at playpleasure the activity of enjoying yourself, especially in contrast to working:Are you in Paris for business or pleasure?amusement the fact of being entertained by something:What do you do for amusement round here?Patterns to do something for entertainment/​fun/​recreation/​relaxation/​pleasure/​amusement to provide entertainment/​fun/​recreation/​relaxation/​amusement
  3. 3  [countable] a thing that makes you happy or satisfied the pleasure and pains of everyday life the simple pleasures of the countryside It's a pleasure to meet you. ‘Thanks for doing that.’ ‘It's a pleasure.’ Swimming is one of my greatest pleasures. Chocolate is one of life’s little pleasures. Synonymspleasuredelight joy privilege treat honourThese are all words for things that make you happy or bring you enjoyment.pleasure a thing that brings you enjoyment or satisfaction:the pleasures and pains of everyday life It’s been a pleasure meeting you.delight a thing or person that brings you great enjoyment or satisfaction:the delights of living in the countryjoy a thing or person that brings you great enjoyment or happiness:the joys and sorrows of childhoodpleasure, delight or joy?A delight or joy is greater than a pleasure; a person, especially a child, can be a delight or joy, but not a pleasure; joys are often contrasted with sorrows, but delights are not.privilege (rather formal) something that you are proud and lucky to have the opportunity to do:It was a great privilege to hear her sing.treat (informal) a thing that somebody enjoyed or is likely to enjoy very much:You’ve never been to this area before? Then you’re in for a real treat.honour/​honor (formal) something that you are very pleased or proud to do because people are showing you great respect:It was a great honour to be invited here today.Patterns the pleasures/​delights/​joys of something It’s a great pleasure/​joy to me that… It’s a pleasure/​delight/​joy/​privilege/​treat/​honour to do something It’s a pleasure/​delight/​joy to see/​find… a pleasure/​delight/​joy to behold/​watch a real pleasure/​delight/​joy/​privilege/​treat a great pleasure/​joy/​privilege/​honour a rare joy/​privilege/​treat/​honour
  4. compare displeasure
    Word Originlate 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.Extra examples Children find endless pleasure in playing with water. Daytime TV is one of his guilty pleasures. He beamed with pleasure at seeing her. He gained vicarious pleasure from watching people laughing and joking. His eyes lit up with pleasure. I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you again. I often meet useful people at parties, so I combine business with pleasure. It gives me enormous pleasure to welcome my next guest. May I have the pleasure of the next dance? My grandfather got immense pleasure out of life until the end. Priests promise to forego the pleasures of the flesh. She enjoys the simple pleasures of life. She takes personal pleasure in tormenting her students. She was deriving a perverse pleasure from his discomfort. Some people read for pleasure, and others read to study. The audience nodded with quiet pleasure at her remark. The photographs are now available for your viewing pleasure. These memories bring both pleasure and pain. They took great pleasure in each other’s company. one of life’s little pleasures the dubious pleasure of growing up in the public eye ‘Thanks for doing that.’ ‘ It’s a pleasure./My pleasure.’ I never mix business with pleasure. It gives me great pleasure to introduce our guest speaker. It’s been a pleasure meeting you. Reading for pleasure and reading for study are not the same. a pleasure boat/​trip the pleasures and pains of everyday lifeIdioms
    at your/somebody’s pleasure
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    (formal) as you want; as somebody else wants The land can be sold at the owner's pleasure.
    used as a polite way of replying when somebody thanks you for doing something, to show that you were happy to do it  used as a polite way of accepting or agreeing to something ‘May I sit here?’ ‘Yes, with pleasure.’
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pleasure

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