Dictionary: PLEAS'ER – PLEDGE

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One that pleases or gratifies; one that courts favor by humoring or flattering compliances or a show of obedience; as, men-pleasers. – Eph. vi. Col. iii.


  1. Giving pleasure or satisfaction; agreeable to the senses or to the mind; as, a pleasing prospect; a pleasing reflection; pleasing manners.
  2. Gaining approbation. – 1 John iii.


The act of gratifying.


Gratifying; exciting agreeable sensations or emotions in.


In such a manner as to give pleasure. – Dryden.


The quality of giving pleasure.

PLEAS'UR-A-BLE, a. [plezh'urable. from pleasure.]

Pleasing; giving pleasure; affording gratification. Planting of orchards is very profitable as well as pleasurable. – Bacon.


The quality of giving pleasure. – Feltham.


With pleasure; with gratification of the senses or the mind. – Harris.

PLEAS-URE, n. [plezh'ur; Fr. plaisir; Arm. pligeadur; It. piacere; Sp. placer; Port. prazer. See Please.]

  1. The gratification of the senses or of the mind; agreeable sensations or emotions; the excitement, relish, or happiness produced by enjoyment or the expectation of good; opposed to pain. We receive pleasure from the indulgence of appetite; from the view of a beautiful landscape; from the harmony of sounds; from agreeable society; from the expectation of seeing an absent friend; from the prospect of gain or success of any kind. Pleasure, bodily and mental, carnal and spiritual, constitutes the whole of positive happiness, as pain constitutes the whole of misery. Pleasure is properly positive excitement of the passions or the mind; but we give the name also to the absence of excitement, when that excitement is painful; as when we cease to labor, or repose after fatigue, or when the mind is tranquilized after anxiety or agitation. Pleasure is susceptible of increase to any degree; but the word when unqualified, expresses less excitement or happiness than delight or joy.
  2. Sensual or sexual gratification.
  3. Approbation. The Lord taketh pleasure in his people. – Ps. cxlvii and xlix.
  4. What the will dictates or prefers; will; choice; purpose; intention; command; as, use your pleasure. – Shak. Cyrus, he is my shepherd and shall perform all my pleasure. – Is. xliv. My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. – Is. xlvi.
  5. A favor; that which pleases. Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul. – Acts xxv.
  6. Arbitrary will or choice. He can vary his scheme at pleasure.

PLEAS'URE, v.t. [plezh'ur.]

To give or afford pleasure to; to please; to gratify. – Bacon. Shak. [A word authorized by some good writers, but superfluous and not much used.]


A boat appropriated to sailing for amusement.


A carriage for pleasure.


Pleasant; agreeable. [Little used.] – Abbot.


Ground laid out in an ornamental manner and appropriated to pleasure or amusement. – Graves.


A person devoted to wordly pleasure. [Little used.] – Brown.

PLE-BEI'AN, a. [It. plebeio; Sp. plebeyo; L. plebeius, from plebs, the common people.]

  1. Pertaining to the common people; vulgar; as, plebeian minds; plebeian sports.
  2. Consisting of common people; as, a plebeian throng.


One of the common people or lower ranks of men. – Swift. [Usually applied to the common people of ancient Rome.]


The common people. [Not in use.]


The conduct of plebeians.

PLEC'TO-GNATHES, or PLEC'TO-GNA-THI, n. [Gr. πλεκω, to connect, and γναθος, a jaw.]

An order of fishes having the maxillary bones stiffly adhering to the sides of the intermaxillaries, which alone form the jaws.


Pertaining to an order of fishes described above.

PLEC'TRUM, n. [L.]

A quill or other thing for playing on stringed instruments.

PLEDGE, n. [Fr. pleige; It. pieggeria; Norm. plegg. This is evidently the Celtic form of the Teutonic plight, Sax. pliht, plihtan. See Plight. It coincides with L. plico, Gr. πλεκω, W. plygu, to fold, properly to lay to, to put or throw to or on. A pledge is that which is laid or deposited.]

  1. Something put in pawn; that which is deposited with another as security for the repayment of money borrowed, or for the performance of some agreement or obligation; a pawn. A. borrows ten pounds of B., and deposits his watch as a pledge that the money shall be repaid; and by the repayment of the money, A. redeems the pledge.
  2. Any thing given or considered as a security for the performance of an act. Thus a man gives his word or makes a promise to another, which is received as a pledge for fulfillment. The mutual affection of husband and wife is a pledge for the faithful performance of the marriage covenant. Mutual interest is the best pledge for the performance of treaties.
  3. A surety; a hostage. – Ralegh. Dryden.
  4. In law, a gage or security real or personal, given for the repayment of money. It is of two kinds; vadium vivum, a living pledge, as when a man borrows money and grants an estate to be held by the pledgee, till the rents and profits shall refund the money, in which case the land or pledge is said to be living; or it is vadium mortuum, a dead pledge, called a mortgage. [See Mortgage.] – Blackstone.
  5. In law, bail; surety given for the prosecution of a suit, or for the appearance of a defendant, or for restoring goods taken in distress and replevied. The distress itself is also called a pledge, and the glove formerly thrown down by a champion in trial by battle, was a pledge by which the champion stipulated to encounter his antagonist in that trial. – Blackstone.
  6. A warrant to secure a person from injury in drinking. To put in pledge, to pawn. To hold in pledge, to keep as security.

PLEDGE, v.t. [Fr. pleiger. See Plight.]

  1. To deposit in pawn; to deposit or leave in possession of a person something which is to secure the repayment of money borrowed, or the performance of some act. [This word is applied chiefly to the depositing of goods or personal property. When real estate is given as security, we usually apply the word mortgage.]
  2. To give as a warrant or security; as, to pledge one's word or honor; to pledge one's veracity.
  3. To secure by a pledge. I accept her, / And here to pledge my vow I give my hand. [Unusual.] – Shak.
  4. To invite to drink by accepting the cup or health after another. Johnson. Or to warrant or be surety for a person that he shall receive no harm while drinking, or from the draught; a practice which originated among our ancestors in their rude state, and which was intended to secure the person from being stabbed while drinking, or from being poisoned by the liquor. In the first case, a by-stander pledges the person drinking; in the latter, the person drinking pledges his guest by drinking first, and then handing the cup to his guest. The latter practice is frequent among the common people in America to this day; the owner of the liquor taking the cup says to his friend, I pledge you, and drinks, then hands the cup to his guest; a remarkable instance of the power of habit, as the reason of the custom has long since ceased.
  5. To engage by promise or declaration.