Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A humorous remark or act; a jest.
  • noun A polite social utterance; a civility.
  • noun A good-humored or playful manner in conversation or social relations.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Good humor; cheerfulness; sprightliness.
  • noun Humorousness: jocularity; witticism; raillery; wit.
  • noun A sprightly or humorous saying; a jest.
  • noun A laughable trick; a prank; a caper: as, the pleasantries of monkeys. Addison.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That which denotes or promotes pleasure or good humor; cheerfulness; gayety; merriment; especially, an agreeable playfulness in conversation; a jocose or humorous remark; badinage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A casual, courteous remark
  • noun A playful remark; a jest

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an agreeable or amusing remark

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French plaisanterie, from Old French plesanterie, from plaisant, pleasant; see pleasant.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

pleasant +‎ -ry

Examples

  • I saw enough to conclude, that Ancennis was not without the characteristic French elegance; and I must once for all say, that the manners of Marmontel are founded in nature, and that the daughters of the yeomanry and humbler farmers in France have an elegance, a vivacity, and a pleasantry, which is no where to be found out of France.

    Travels through the South of France and the Interior of Provinces of Provence and Languedoc in the Years 1807 and 1808

  • His matter quite apart -- and it is always interesting -- and abstractedly from his pervasive pleasantry, which is always original, it is a wonder that he is not more esteemed than he is in an age which professes to set store by style.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 87, March, 1875

  • The groundwork of the pleasantry is the identity in form of the proper name with the common noun 'will.'

    A Life of William Shakespeare with portraits and facsimiles

  • The form of bicycle he rode long ago became antiquated, but in the humor of his pleasantry is a quality which does not grow old.

    What Is Man? and Other Essays

  • In fact, the good squire was a little too apt to indulge that kind of pleasantry which is generally called rhodomontade: but which may, with as much propriety, be expressed by a much shorter word; and perhaps we too often supply the use of this little monosyllable by others; since very much of what frequently passes in the world for wit and humour, should, in the strictest purity of language, receive that short appellation, which, in conformity to the well-bred laws of custom, I here suppress.

    The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

  • In fact, the good squire was a little too apt to indulge that kind of pleasantry which is generally called rhodomontade: but which may, with as much propriety, be expressed by a much shorter word; and perhaps we too often supply the use of this little monosyllable by others; since very much of what frequently passes in the world for wit and humour, should, in the strictest purity of language, receive that short appellation, which, in conformity to the wellbred laws of custom, I here suppress.

    XI. The Narrow Escape of Molly Seagrim. Book IV

  • In fact, the good squire was a little too apt to indulge that kind of pleasantry which is generally called rhodomontade: but which may, with as much propriety, be expressed by a much shorter word; and perhaps we too often supply the use of this little monosyllable by others; since very much of what frequently passes in the world for wit and humour, should, in the strictest purity of language, receive that short appellation, which, in conformity to the well-bred laws of custom, I here suppress.

    History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

  • He says the most sublime things without effort and he often finishes them by a turn of pleasantry which is neither misplaced nor far-fetched.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • To shew how little account was made of James's negotiations abroad, there is a pleasantry which is mentioned by all historians, and which, for that reason, shall have place here.

    Doleful News for Austria

  • To shew how little account was made of James's negotiations abroad, there is a pleasantry which is mentioned by all historians, and which, for that reason, shall have place here.

    Archive 2005-09-01

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