Definition of please in English:

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Pronunciation: /pliːz/


[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
More example sentences
  • He said it pleased him, and he was flattered not offended…
  • 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.
  • 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.
nice, agreeable, pleasant, pleasurable, satisfying, gratifying, welcome, good, acceptable, to one's liking, enjoyable, entertaining, amusing, delightful, fine
informal lovely
See also pleasant (sense 1)
1.1 [no object] Give satisfaction: she was quiet and eager to please
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
informal lovely
See also pleasant (sense 2)
1.2Satisfy aesthetically: he was wearing a buttonhole that did not quite please the eye
More example sentences
  • They do not recognize how aesthetically pleasing your site is but rather will digest the content of your site to understand its subject matter.
  • 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 participants would be bringing aesthetically pleasing furniture suitable for those living in tiny accommodations.
make happy, give pleasure to, make someone pleased/glad/content, make someone feel good, delight, charm, amuse, divert, entertain, be agreeable to, gladden, cheer up;
satisfy, gratify, humour, oblige, content, suit
informal tickle pink
2 (please oneself) Take 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
More example sentences
  • If you're just pleasing yourself, why not save it for home?
  • By the end of the week you feel much better, and paradoxically by pleasing yourself your partner is also satisfied.
  • All over the country, harassed parents are frantically trying to decide how to entertain their offspring, rather than pleasing themselves.
2.1 [no object] Wish or desire to do something: feel free to wander around as you please
More example sentences
  • People in life quote as they please, so we have the right to quote as we 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.
like, want, wish, desire, see/think fit, choose, be inclined, will, prefer, opt
2.2 (it pleases, pleased, etc., someone to do something) dated It is someone’s choice to do something: instead of attending the meeting, it pleased him to go off hunting
More example sentences
  • If it pleases you to advance and research this theory, then please the more power to you.
  • 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!
  • 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.


1Used in polite requests or questions: please address letters to the Editor what type of fish is this, please?
More example sentences
  • Would you ask the Minister to address the question please.
  • Would the Prime Minister please address the question.
  • These unnecessary asides only waste the time of the House, so would the Minister please just address the question.
1.1Used to add urgency and emotion to a request: please, please come home!
More example sentences
  • If you feel envy from his mind - well, I ask that you please ignore the emotion.
  • There's only a little over a week to decide. Please, please, please!
  • Please, please return to your original format.
1.2Used to agree politely to a request: ‘May I ring you at home?’ ‘Please do.’
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.3Used in polite or emphatic acceptance of an offer: ‘Would you like a drink?’ ‘Yes, please.’
More example sentences
  • Yes please Cath; that's the best offer I've had from any woman in months.
  • And she says yes, please, are you free this evening?
  • 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’.
1.4Used to ask someone to stop doing something of which the speaker disapproves: Rita, please—people are looking
More example sentences
  • And please, stop emailing me asking when I am going to get your bio/picture up.
  • Many young people are, regrettably, disabled by illness or accident, so please will you stop and consider this before launching into a reprimand?
  • But please stop posting that particular conspiracy theory.
1.5Used to express incredulity or irritation: Oh please, is that meant to be a serious argument?
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Oh please! So Meg's foie gras post is up.



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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stay as long as you please then, Mr. Benito, Mr. Kane.

if you please

1Used in polite requests: follow me, if you please
More example sentences
  • And you may follow, if you please, or keep to public streets.
  • Kindly draw the water while I change my dress, if you please.
  • I'll take another Martini, now, Sproat, if you please.
2Used to express indignation at something perceived as unreasonable: she wants me to make fifty cakes in time for the festival, if you please!
More example sentences
  • 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…
  • We must adopt the promised land mindset, 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.

please yourself

Used to express indifference, especially when someone does not cooperate or behave as expected: ‘I can manage on my own.’ ‘Please yourself.’
More example sentences
  • Oh well please yourself!
  • Well, please yourself. They'll be there and us dead, very likely.


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

  • A word that comes via Old French plaisir ‘to please’ from Latin placere, found also in implacable (Late Middle English). Phrases like yes, please were originally short for ‘may it please you’ or ‘let it please you’. Please on its own, as used today, was not known to Shakespeare, who used please you: ‘Will you hear the letter?—So please you, for I never heard it yet’ (As You Like It). The proverbs you can't please everyone and little things please little minds are both old and can be traced back to the late 15th and late 16th centuries. Something pleasant (Middle English) was originally something ‘pleasing’, the meaning of the word in its French source. If you were complacent (mid 17th century) you were originally willing to go along with what pleases others.

Words that rhyme with please

Achinese, Ambonese, appease, Assamese, Balinese, Belize, Beninese, Bernese, bêtise, Bhutanese, breeze, Burmese, Cantonese, Castries, cerise, cheese, chemise, Chinese, Cingalese, Cleese, Congolese, Denise, Dodecanese, ease, éminence grise, expertise, Faroese, freeze, Fries, frieze, Gabonese, Genoese, Goanese, Guyanese, he's, Japanese, Javanese, jeez, journalese, Kanarese, Keys, Lebanese, lees, legalese, Louise, Macanese, Madurese, Maltese, marquise, Milanese, Nepalese, officialese, overseas, pease, Pekinese, Peloponnese, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Pyrenees, reprise, Rwandese, seise, seize, Senegalese, she's, Siamese, Sienese, Sikkimese, Sinhalese, sleaze, sneeze, squeeze, Stockton-on-Tees, Sudanese, Sundanese, Surinamese, Tabriz, Taiwanese, tease, Tees, telegraphese, these, Timorese, Togolese, trapeze, valise, Viennese, Vietnamese, vocalese, wheeze

For editors and proofreaders

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