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Denotation vs. Connotation

please

[pleez] /pliz/
adverb
1.
(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.
2.
to act to the pleasure or satisfaction of:
to please the public.
3.
to be the pleasure or will of:
May it please your Majesty.
verb (used without object), pleased, pleasing.
4.
to like, wish, or feel inclined:
Go where you please.
5.
to give pleasure or satisfaction; be agreeable:
manners that please.
Idioms
6.
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
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
pleasedly
[plee-zid-lee, pleezd-] /ˈpli zɪd li, ˈplizd-/ (Show IPA),
adverb
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.
Synonyms
4. choose, desire, prefer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for well-pleased
Historical Examples
  • But Mrs. Brattle and Fanny, who could read every line in his face, knew that he was well-pleased.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton Anthony Trollope
  • “Ay, ay,” said Tibble, regarding him with a well-pleased face.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • And who leaveth Thee, whither goeth or whither fleeth he, but from Thee well-pleased, to Thee displeased?

  • Their mother, however, was not quite so well-pleased with the result of the expedition.

    Bob Strong's Holidays John Conroy Hutcheson
  • Matty gave a furtive and not too well-pleased glance at her captain.

    The Honorable Miss L. T. Meade
  • Then she kissed them, well-pleased, and with a gentle hesitation in her manner asked me in.

    The Purple Land W. H. Hudson
  • My merits were known to that illustrious one, and the Kuru king Yudhishthira was well-pleased with me.

  • She looked at them nonchalantly, well-pleased at any sort of dominance, but never confessing it by her attitude.

    The Royal Pawn of Venice Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull
  • Apparently, if I were well-pleased with the last half-hour, she had found time pass no less pleasantly.

  • "That is the most cold-blooded way of making use of us to kill time with," said Eve; but she bestowed on him a well-pleased smile.

British Dictionary definitions for well-pleased

well-pleased

adjective (well pleased when postpositive)
1.
very happy or satisfied: well pleased with the outcome of the meeting

please

/pliːz/
verb
1.
to give satisfaction, pleasure, or contentment to (a person); make or cause (a person) to be glad
2.
to be the will of or have the will (to): if it pleases you, the court pleases
3.
if you please, if you will or wish, sometimes used in ironic exclamation
4.
pleased with, happy because of
5.
please oneself, to do as one likes
adverb
6.
(sentence modifier) used in making polite requests and in pleading, asking for a favour, etc: please don't tell the police where I am
7.
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 well-pleased

please

v.

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 well-pleased

please

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