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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.
Origin of pleasantry
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 pleasantry
Historical Examples
  • This is so true that debts are, in pleasantry, spoken of as a sign of a nation's progress.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • This reads like pleasantry, but it deals with serious things.

  • At this pleasantry the train laughed, so that their irons clanked more than ever.

  • Be it so; but I must tell you I see neither wit nor humour in your kind of pleasantry.

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • He indulged but rarely in pleasantry; but when anything of the kind escaped him, it was sure to tell.

  • That is the way people of his constitution are apt to take a bit of pleasantry.

    Elsie Venner Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • With all the pungency, and nearly all the pleasantry of hers, it has less of spontaneous volubility.

  • Rupert now saw he had gone too far, and passed off the thing as a pleasantry.

    Athelstane Ford Allen Upward
  • She sought to detain them for a little talk and some pleasantry.

  • Chicken Little was too intent on her own ideas to notice his pleasantry.

    Chicken Little Jane Lily Munsell Ritchie
British Dictionary definitions for pleasantry


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 pleasantry

"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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