She is not very beautiful but very pleasing.

Does the sentence make sense to you? Can "pleasing" be used to modify people? I think it is mused to modify things, such as "The result is pleasing."

4 Answers 4


Certainly pleasing can be used to modify people, either women or men, or children. Or pets.

But if I used it, I would probably use pleasing to modify something about the person. She has a pleasing personality. But even this sounds slightly old-fashioned to me. Another way to say what I just said is "She is willing to please." People at times do describe themselves as 'willing to please.' In several contexts, but I am thinking mostly about a person willing to please their new boss. Despite certain overtones that this phrase may be construed to have by some, those overtones are not inherent to "willing to please."

The dictionary definition that user3169 links to has one example sentence of "pleasing," and it also modifies something about the person, not the person directly. But the 2001 date shows that the word is still in use--by some.

His face was fleshy and full and not at all pleasing , the eyebrows too heavy, the nose too sharply hooked.

Robert Silverberg LORD PRESTIMION (2001)


The sentence is fine. Also people can be pleasant.

She has a pleasant personality.

The definition of pleasing does not make any distinction between people and things.


It can be used for a person. But I'm not sure as to some, it might be offensive. She's very pleasing may also mean that she can give pleasure to you.

Consider user3169's option instead. She is not beautiful but she has a pleasant personality.

There could be other options to say that...

She's not very beautiful but she's amicable/charming/friendly etc.

You may choose other words depending on what you exactly want to say.


The adjective "pleasing", though not much used to refer to people, it can be used to do so, Please see the following examples:

*She is pleasing in manner and appearance.

*He is a pleasing writer/actor.

*I met Omar Sherif, who is a pleasing personality.

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