AskDefine | Define pleasantness

Dictionary Definition



1 the feeling caused by agreeable stimuli; one pole of a continuum of states of feeling [ant: unpleasantness]
2 the quality of giving pleasure; "he was charmed by the sweetness of her manner"; "the pleasantness of a cool breeze on a hot summer day" [syn: sweetness] [ant: unpleasantness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The state or quality of being pleasant


Extensive Definition

Pleasure is commonly conceptualized as a positive experience, happiness, entertainment, enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria. It is the absolute opposite of pain.
People commonly feel this phenomenon through exercise, sexuality, music, usage of drugs, writing, accomplishment, recognition, service, and any other imaginable activity; even pain (known by its medical terminology masochism). It also refers to "enjoyment" related to certain physical, sensual, emotional or mental experience.


Pleasure may also be defined, at least in some contexts, as being the reduction or absence of pain. Epicurus and his followers defined pleasure as the absence of pain.
The 19th Century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer understood pleasure as a negative sensation, as it negates the usual existential condition, that of suffering.
Utilitarianism and New Hedonism philosophies both attempt to increase to the maximum the amount of pleasure and minimize the amount of pain.


The pleasure center is the set of brain structures, predominantly the nucleus accumbens, theorized to produce great pleasure when stimulated electrically. Some references state that the septum pellucidium is generally considered to be the pleasure center while others mention the hypothalamus when referring to pleasure center for intracranial stimulation.. Certain chemicals are known to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. These include dopamine and various endorphins.


pleasantness in German: Freude
pleasantness in Spanish: Placer
pleasantness in Croatian: Zadovoljstvo
pleasantness in Italian: Piacere
pleasantness in Hebrew: עונג
pleasantness in Polish: Przyjemność
pleasantness in Portuguese: Prazer
pleasantness in Russian: Удовольствие
pleasantness in Finnish: Mielihyvä
pleasantness in Slovak: Radosť
pleasantness in Swedish: Njutning
pleasantness in Yiddish: פארגעניגען

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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