- The definition of a pleasantry is a polite social remark made as part of general conversation, or a little joke.
When you and your neighbor stand and chat politely and make little jokes for a while as you both get the paper, this is an example of when you exchange pleasantries.
pleasantry definition by Webster's New World
- the quality or state of being pleasant, or playful, in conversation; jocularity
- a humorous remark or action; joke
- a polite social remark: to exchange pleasantries
Origin: French plaisanterie
pleasantry definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. pleas·ant·ries
- A humorous remark or act; a jest.
- A polite social utterance; a civility: exchanged pleasantries before getting down to business.
- A good-humored or playful manner in conversation or social relations.
Origin: French plaisanterie, from Old French plesanterie, from plaisant, pleasant; see pleasant.