AskDefine | Define pleasure

Dictionary Definition



1 a fundamental feeling that is hard to define but that people desire to experience; "he was tingling with pleasure" [syn: pleasance] [ant: pain]
2 something or someone that provides pleasure; a source of happiness; "a joy to behold"; "the pleasure of his company"; "the new car is a delight" [syn: joy, delight]
3 a formal expression; "he serves at the pleasure of the President"
4 an activity that affords enjoyment; "he puts duty before pleasure"
5 sexual gratification; "he took his pleasure of her"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK): /ˈplɛʒə/, /"plEZ@/
  • (US): , /ˈplɛʒɚ/, /"plEZ@`/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛʒə(r)


  1. a state of being pleased
    The puppy made the boy feel pleasure.
  2. a person or thing that causes enjoyment
    It was a pleasure to meet you.
    The puppy was a pleasure.
  3. one's preference
    What is your pleasure, coffee or tea?



a state of being pleased
person or thing that causes enjoyment
one's preference


  1. to give pleasure (especially sexual pleasure) to
    Johnny pleasured Jackie orally last night.


Extensive Definition

Pleasure is commonly conceptualized as a positive experience, happiness, entertainment, enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria. It is the absolute opposite of pain.
People commonly feel this phenomenon through exercise, sexuality, music, usage of drugs, writing, accomplishment, recognition, service, and any other imaginable activity; even pain (known by its medical terminology masochism). It also refers to "enjoyment" related to certain physical, sensual, emotional or mental experience.


Pleasure may also be defined, at least in some contexts, as being the reduction or absence of pain. Epicurus and his followers defined pleasure as the absence of pain.
The 19th Century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer understood pleasure as a negative sensation, as it negates the usual existential condition, that of suffering.
Utilitarianism and New Hedonism philosophies both attempt to increase to the maximum the amount of pleasure and minimize the amount of pain.


The pleasure center is the set of brain structures, predominantly the nucleus accumbens, theorized to produce great pleasure when stimulated electrically. Some references state that the septum pellucidium is generally considered to be the pleasure center while others mention the hypothalamus when referring to pleasure center for intracranial stimulation.. Certain chemicals are known to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. These include dopamine and various endorphins.


pleasure in German: Freude
pleasure in Spanish: Placer
pleasure in Croatian: Zadovoljstvo
pleasure in Italian: Piacere
pleasure in Hebrew: עונג
pleasure in Polish: Przyjemność
pleasure in Portuguese: Prazer
pleasure in Russian: Удовольствие
pleasure in Finnish: Mielihyvä
pleasure in Slovak: Radosť
pleasure in Swedish: Njutning
pleasure in Yiddish: פארגעניגען

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1