American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To give enjoyment, pleasure, or satisfaction to; make glad or contented.
- v. To be the will or desire of: May it please the court to admit this firearm as evidence.
- v. To give satisfaction or pleasure; be agreeable: waiters who try hard to please.
- v. To have the will or desire; wish: Do as you please. Sit down, if you please.
- adv. If it is your desire or pleasure; if you please. Used in polite requests: Please stand back. Pay attention, please.
- adv. Yes. Used in polite affirmative replies to offers: May I help you? Please.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To be agreeable to; suit; satisfy; seem good to: used impersonally, and followed by an object, originally dative, of the person: same as like, I. This impersonal construction with the indirect object of the person has given way in more familiar use to a personal construction, the original dative you, in if you please, for example, being now taken as the subject. (See II., 1.) The word in this sense was formerly common in polite request, may it please you, or if it please you, or, elliptically, please you: a mode of speech still common in addressing a judge or persons of rank or position : as, may it please the court; if it please your honor; please your worship; etc. Compare II., 1.
- To excite agreeable sensations or emotions in; impart satisfaction, gratification, pleasure, or delight to; gratify; content.
- To think fit or have the complaisance or kindness; condescend; be good enough; be so kind as: an expression of courtesy, often used ironically.
- Synonyms To rejoice, gladden, make glad.
- To like; choose; think fit: as, do as you please.
- To give pleasure; win approval.
- adv. Used to make a polite request.
- adv. Used as an affirmative to an offer.
- adv. An expression of annoyance or impatience.
- v. transitive To make happy or satisfy; to give pleasure.
- v. intransitive, ergative To desire; to will; to be pleased.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To give pleasure to; to excite agreeable sensations or emotions in; to make glad; to gratify; to content; to satisfy.
- v. To have or take pleasure in; hence, to choose; to wish; to desire; to will.
- v. To be the will or pleasure of; to seem good to; -- used impersonally.
- v. To afford or impart pleasure; to excite agreeable emotions.
- v. To have pleasure; to be willing, as a matter of affording pleasure or showing favor; to vouchsafe; to consent.
- adv. used in polite request
- v. give satisfaction
- v. be the will of or have the will (to)
- v. give pleasure to or be pleasing to
- Middle English plesen, plaisen, from Old French plaise, conjugated form of plaisir or plaire, from Latin placēre ("to please, to seem good"), from the Proto-Indo-European *plā-k- (“wide and flat”). Displaced native Middle English quemen, queamen ("to please") (from Old English cwēman ("to please")), Middle English biluvien ("to please, delight") (from Middle English bi-, be- + luvien ("to love")), Middle English liken ("to like, please") (from Old English līcian ("to please, be like")), Middle English lusten, listen ("to be pleasing, delight") (from Old English lystan ("to please")). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English plesen, from Old French plaisir; see pleasant. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The opening chapter of the book here under discussion elicited a raspberry note to budding Scenarists: opening the text with camera directions gives the game away; and please please *please* no more references to that a-photograph-steals-the-soul riff, which I first happened upon in the Ur-text called...”
“Great idea, but please *please* promise you won't do that again!”
“So please, you whisper to yourself, trying to telepathically bully everyone else in the room--*please* don't ask any questions.”
“I'm in Boston and I'm not going to phone you because I'm scared you'd hang up, so I'm just arriving at Wooly on Thursday, and for God's sake please, _please_ see me and hear me, my dear, darling friend.”
“Did Louise Littleton suspect, as I did, what she was to "please, _please_ ... hear" and its ramifications?”
“Please, please, _please_!" they pleaded in chorus.”
“Harry, thus free to marry, had persuaded Rose to wait no longer; the event was to be on a Monday not quite two weeks ahead, and Norma was please, _please_, PLEASE to come down as soon as she could.”
“Oh please -- _please_!" was the girl's panic-stricken whisper.”
“Julie," he whispered, "my darling, say you'll marry me -- please, _please_!”
“Oh, please, don't when I ask you; _please_," says she.”
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