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[pleez] /pliz/
(used as a polite addition to requests, commands, etc.) if you would be so obliging; kindly:
Please come here. Will you please turn the radio off?
verb (used with object), pleased, pleasing.
to act to the pleasure or satisfaction of:
to please the public.
to be the pleasure or will of:
May it please your Majesty.
verb (used without object), pleased, pleasing.
to like, wish, or feel inclined:
Go where you please.
to give pleasure or satisfaction; be agreeable:
manners that please.
if you please,
  1. if it be your pleasure; if you like or prefer.
  2. (used as an exclamation expressing astonishment, indignation, etc.):
    The missing letter was in his pocket, if you please!
Origin of please
1275-1325; (v.) Middle English plesen, plaisen < Middle French plaisirLatin placēre to please, seem good (see placid); the use of please with requests, etc., is presumably a reduction of the clause (it) please you may it please you, later reinforced by imperative use of intransitive please to be pleased, wish
Related forms
pleasable, adjective
[plee-zid-lee, pleezd-] /ˈpli zɪd li, ˈplizd-/ (Show IPA),
pleasedness, noun
pleaser, noun
half-pleased, adjective
outplease, verb (used with object), outpleased, outpleasing.
overplease, verb, overpleased, overpleasing.
self-pleased, adjective
self-pleaser, noun
unpleasable, adjective
unpleased, adjective
well-pleased, adjective
Can be confused
pleas, please.
4. choose, desire, prefer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for please


to give satisfaction, pleasure, or contentment to (a person); make or cause (a person) to be glad
to be the will of or have the will (to): if it pleases you, the court pleases
if you please, if you will or wish, sometimes used in ironic exclamation
pleased with, happy because of
please oneself, to do as one likes
(sentence modifier) used in making polite requests and in pleading, asking for a favour, etc: please don't tell the police where I am
yes please, a polite formula for accepting an offer, invitation, etc
Derived Forms
pleasable, adjective
pleased, adjective
pleasedly (ˈpliːzɪdlɪ) adverb
pleaser, noun
Word Origin
C14 plese, from Old French plaisir, from Latin placēre to please, satisfy
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 please

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with please


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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