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[plez-uh n-tree] /ˈplɛz ən tri/
noun, plural pleasantries.
good-humored teasing; banter.
a humorous or jesting remark.
a courteous social remark used to initiate or facilitate a conversation:
to exchange pleasantries.
a humorous action.
1645-55; < French plaisanterie, Old French plesanterie. See pleasant, -ry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pleasantries
  • He was not a loud laugher, and rarely made a joke, but he greatly enjoyed the pleasantries of others.
  • Bill collectors don't tend to encounter many pleasantries, even in the best of times.
  • My papa paused and exchanged pleasantries, still holding tightly onto my hand.
  • He was always genial and had some pleasantries to ex-change.
  • They can, however, ask for directions or share pleasantries over tea or during key leader engagements.
  • We even exchange pleasantries with the proposal's supporters.
  • After concluding pleasantries, the three negotiate what the recording identifies as a debt owed for an unspecified item.
  • While the fighting was going on, no time for pleasantries.
  • He exchanged pleasantries with ease and was observed to maintain eye contact and smile throughout the interview.
British Dictionary definitions for pleasantries


noun (pl) -ries
(often pl) an agreeable or amusing remark, often one made in order to be polite: they exchanged pleasantries
an agreeably humorous manner or style
(rare) enjoyment; pleasantness: a pleasantry of life
Word Origin
C17: from French plaisanterie, from plaisantpleasant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pleasantries



"sprightly humor in conversation," 1650s, from French plaisanterie "joke, jest; joking, jesting," from plaisant (see pleasant). Related: Pleasantries.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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