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adjective jo·vial \ˈjō-vē-əl, -vyəl\

Simple Definition of jovial

  • : full of happiness and joy

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of jovial

  1. 1 capitalized :  of or relating to Jove

  2. 2 :  markedly good-humored especially as evidenced by jollity and conviviality

joviality play \ˌjō-vē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun
jovially play \ˈjō-vē-ə-lē, -vyə-\ adverb

Examples of jovial in a sentence

  1. In response, an infuriating wink: Alsana always likes to appear jovial at the very moment that her interlocutor becomes hot under the collar. —Zadie Smith, White Teeth, 2001

  2. I felt I was slumming, in my own life. My task was to ward off the drivel … the jovial claptrap of classmates and teachers, the maddening bromides I heard at home. —Susan Sontag, New Yorker, 21 Dec. 1987

  3. For, the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee; calling out to one another from the parapets, and now and then exchanging a facetious snowball… —Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843

  4. The audience was in a jovial mood.

  5. He's a very jovial man.

Did You Know?

In Roman astrology, planets were named after gods, and people were thought to share the personality traits of the god whose planet was rising when they were born. Jupiter, also called Jove, was the chief Roman god and was considered a majestic, authoritative type who was the source of joy and happiness. The Late Latin adjective jovialis meant "of or relating to Jove." In Middle French this had become "jovial." English speakers picked up "jovial" in the late 16th century and began applying it to folks who shared the majestic or good-natured character of Jupiter (regardless of their birth date).


First Known Use of jovial


Synonym Discussion of jovial

merry, blithe, jocund, jovial, jolly mean showing high spirits or lightheartedness. merry suggests cheerful, joyous, uninhibited enjoyment of frolic or festivity <a merry group of revelers>. blithe suggests carefree, innocent, or even heedless gaiety <arrived late in his usual blithe way>. jocund stresses elation and exhilaration of spirits <singing, dancing, and jocund feasting>. jovial suggests the stimulation of conviviality and good fellowship <dinner put them in a jovial mood>. jolly suggests high spirits expressed in laughing, bantering, and jesting <our jolly host enlivened the party>.

JOVIAL Defined for Kids


adjective jo·vial \ˈjō-vē-əl\

Definition of jovial for Students

  1. :  1jolly

jovially adverb

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up jovial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to expose to danger or risk

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