Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To give enjoyment, pleasure, or satisfaction to; make glad or contented.
  • intransitive verb To be the will or desire of.
  • intransitive verb To give satisfaction or pleasure; be agreeable.
  • intransitive verb To have the will or desire; wish.
  • adverb If it is your desire or pleasure; if you please. Used in polite requests.
  • adverb Yes. Used in polite affirmative replies to offers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

  • transitive verb To give pleasure to; to excite agreeable sensations or emotions in; to make glad; to gratify; to content; to satisfy.
  • transitive verb To have or take pleasure in; hence, to choose; to wish; to desire; to will.
  • transitive verb To be the will or pleasure of; to seem good to; -- used impersonally.
  • transitive verb to have complacency in; to take pleasure in.
  • transitive verb to take pleasure in doing it; to have the will to do it; to think proper to do it.
  • intransitive verb To afford or impart pleasure; to excite agreeable emotions.
  • intransitive verb To have pleasure; to be willing, as a matter of affording pleasure or showing favor; to vouchsafe; to consent.

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

  • verb transitive To make happy or satisfy; to give pleasure.
  • verb intransitive, ergative To desire; to will; to be pleased.
  • adverb Used to make a polite request.
  • adverb Used as an affirmative to an offer.
  • adverb An expression of annoyance or impatience.

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

  • adverb used in polite request
  • verb give satisfaction
  • verb be the will of or have the will (to)
  • verb give pleasure to or be pleasing to

Etymologies

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

[Middle English plesen, from Old French plaisir; see pleasant.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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")).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Short for if you please, an intransitive, ergative form taken from if it please you, which replaced pray.

Examples

  • 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...

    TEV GIVEAWAY: BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN

  • Great idea, but please *please* promise you won't do that again!

    LOSTCasts 35: Skypecast

  • So please, you whisper to yourself, trying to telepathically bully everyone else in the room--*please* don't ask any questions.

    Katie's business trip, day 2

  • 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.

    Murder Crossed

  • Did Louise Littleton suspect, as I did, what she was to "please, _please_ ... hear" and its ramifications?

    Murder Crossed

  • "Please, please, _please_!" they pleaded in chorus.

    Madge Morton's Victory

  • 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.

    The Beloved Woman

  • "Oh please -- _please_!" was the girl's panic-stricken whisper.

    The Visioning

  • "Julie," he whispered, "my darling, say you'll marry me -- please, _please_!"

    Simon Called Peter

  • "Oh, please, don't when I ask you; _please_," says she.

    Pan

Comments

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  • '"He simply said, 'Please. Please, I need to live.' Twas the please that caught my memory. I asked what was so important for him. 'True love,' he replied."' -Westley, from The Princess Bride

    February 19, 2008