late 14c., plesaunte (early 14c. as a surname), "pleasing or acceptable to God;" also "agreeable, desirable; delightful, delicious; satisfying to the mind or senses;" of persons, "charming, gracious," from Old French plaisant "pleasant, pleasing, agreeable" (12c.), present participle of plaisir "to please, give pleasure to, satisfy," from Latin placere "to be acceptable, be liked, be approved" (see please). Pleasantry has the word's modern French sense of "funny, jocular, witty." Related: Pleasantly. Pleasantness "pleasing or agreeable character or quality" is attested from 1520s.