American English

Definition of pleasure noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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. Thesaurusfunpleasure a good time enjoyment a great timeThese are all words for the feeling of enjoying yourself, or activities or time that you (somewhat informal) the feeling of enjoying yourself; activities that you enjoy:We had a lot of fun at Sarah's party. Sailing is great fun.pleasure (somewhat formal) the feeling of enjoying yourself or being satisfied:Reading for pleasure and reading for work are not the same.a good time (somewhat informal) a time that you spend enjoying yourself:We had a good time in Spain.enjoyment (somewhat 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 (somewhat informal) a time that you spend enjoying yourself very much:We had a really great time together.Patterns to do something for fun/pleasure/your own 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
  2. 2[uncountable] the activity of enjoying yourself, especially in contrast to working Are you in Paris on business or pleasure? Thesaurusentertainmentfun recreation relaxation play pleasure amusementThese are all words for things or activities used to entertain people when they are not working.entertainment movies, television, music, etc. used to entertain people:The club offers live entertainment seven nights a (somewhat informal) behavior or activities that are not serious but come from a sense of enjoyment:I took an art class just for the fun of it. The lottery provides harmless fun for millions.recreation (somewhat formal) things people do for enjoyment when they are not working:His only form of recreation is playing basketball.relaxation (somewhat formal) things people do to rest and enjoy themselves when they are not working; the ability to relax:I go hiking 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 things that people, especially children, do for enjoyment rather than as work:the importance of learning through playpleasure the activity of enjoying yourself, especially in contrast to working:Are you in Paris for business or pleasure?amusement (somewhat formal) the fact of being entertained by something:What do you do for amusement around 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 pleasures 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. compare displeasure
  4. Idioms
    at your/somebody's pleasure (formal)
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    as you want; as someone else wants The land can be sold at the owner's pleasure.
    my pleasure
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    used as a polite way of replying when someone thanks you for doing something, to show that you were happy to do it
    with pleasure
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    used as a polite way of accepting or agreeing to something “May I sit here?” “Yes, with pleasure.” Thesauruspleasuredelight joy privilege treat honorThese 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 talking with 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 a 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 (somewhat 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 someone enjoyed or is likely to enjoy very much:You've never been to this area before? Then you're in for a real treat.honor (formal) something that you are very pleased or proud to do because people are showing you great respect:It was a great honor to be invited to speak 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/honor >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/honor a rare joy/privilege/treat/honor
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pleasure

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