Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Miriam must not only be contemplated in a new, but unpleasing light.

And yet the picture before him could have scarcely been unpleasing to the most fastidious eye.

A feast like this is an object foreign and unpleasing to my eyes.

The furniture of this room was rather quaint, and not unpleasing.

She spoke them with a singing accent which was not unpleasing.

And it came to be so that no person or thing in the world seemed to me trivial or unpleasing.

Altogether it was an unpleasing but instructive little episode.

But enough of this melancholy, though not unpleasing strain.

The trick of adding a vowel to sound words is not unpleasing to the ear.

There was a sprightly mirthfulness in the touch of it, not unpleasing to her.


early 14c., "to be agreeable," from Old French plaisir "to please, give pleasure to, satisfy" (11c., Modern French plaire, the form of which is perhaps due to analogy of faire), from Latin placere "to be acceptable, be liked, be approved," related to placare "to soothe, quiet" (source of Spanish placer, Italian piacere), possibly from PIE *plak-e- "to be calm," via notion of still water, etc., from root *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta).

Meaning "to delight" in English is from late 14c. Inverted use for "to be pleased" is from c.1500, first in Scottish, and paralleling the evolution of synonymous like (v.). Intransitive sense (e.g. do as you please) first recorded c.1500; imperative use (e.g. please do this), first recorded 1620s, was probably a shortening of if it please (you) (late 14c.). Related: Pleased; pleasing; pleasingly.

Verbs for "please" supply the stereotype polite word (e.g. "Please come in," short for may it please you to ...) in many languages (French, Italian), "But more widespread is the use of the first singular of a verb for 'ask, request' " [Buck, who cites German bitte, Polish proszę, etc.]. Spanish favor is short for hace el favor "do the favor." Danish has in this sense vær saa god, literally "be so good."


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.