cheer·​ful | \ˈchir-fəl \

Definition of cheerful 

1a : full of good spirits : merry a cheerful host

b : ungrudging cheerful obedience

2 : conducive to cheer : likely to dispel gloom or worry sunny cheerful room

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Other Words from cheerful

cheerfully \-​f(ə-​)lē \ adverb
cheerfulness \-​fəl-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cheerful


blithe, blithesome, bright, buoyant, canty [British dialect], cheery, chipper, eupeptic, gay, gladsome, lightsome, sunny, upbeat, winsome


dour, gloomy, glum, morose, saturnine, sulky, sullen

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Examples of cheerful in a Sentence

She has a cheerful outlook on life. He seems a little more cheerful today.

Recent Examples on the Web

Elfo has left his oppressively cheerful homeland in search of the right to not be happy, but the scripts almost instantly abandon his initial motivation to experience new things and turn his crush on Bean into his dominant trait. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Disenchantment lacks the magic of Netflix’s other animated originals," 7 Aug. 2018 John Keene’s girlfriend, Ashley, is a perky cheerleader whose aggressively cheerful energy feels just a little off. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Camille Reckons with the Ghosts of Her Recent Past in Sharp Objects Episode 3," 23 July 2018 The apparently cheerful emoji seems to correspond (so far) with Trump’s feelings about the historic and unprecedented get-together. Steve Annear,, "Twitter unveils an emoji for the Trump-Kim Jong Un summit — and not everyone’s a fan," 11 June 2018 The Australian filmmaker describes it all with a cheerful tone and plenty laughs as well. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Upgrade' Director Leigh Whannell on Box Office Pressures and Visiting 'Aquaman' Set," 1 June 2018 Never sneak out, but instead offer a cheerful goodbye that will help reassure your child – and maybe yourself. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Parent's survival guide to preschool," 10 July 2018 There's just something about a steaming mug of coffee, the mercy of a Bloody Mary, the cheerful din of brunching humanity; certain intangible qualities that simply can't be reproduced at home. Sarah Nardi, Chicago Reader, "The Bongo Room turns 25: A look back at Wicker Park's beloved brunch spot," 5 July 2018 Guzman-Feliz was remembered as a cheerful kid who loved pepperoni pizza, video games and had a passion to one day become a police officer. CBS News, "Funeral held for Bronx teen Lesandro Guzman-Feliz killed in gang attack," 27 June 2018 They were showered with gales of confetti and cheerful messages of inclusion. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Kesha and Macklemore delight fans with glitz, love and a dash of the ‘Good Old Days’," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cheerful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cheerful

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cheerful

see cheer entry 1

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Statistics for cheerful

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for cheerful

The first known use of cheerful was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for cheerful



English Language Learners Definition of cheerful

: feeling or showing happiness

: feeling or showing that you are willing to do something without complaining

: causing good feelings or happiness


cheer·​ful | \ˈchir-fəl \

Kids Definition of cheerful

1 : feeling or showing happiness

2 : causing good feelings or happiness cheerful news

3 : pleasantly bright a sunny cheerful room

Other Words from cheerful

cheerfully \-​fə-​lē \ adverb
cheerfulness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on cheerful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheerful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheerful

Spanish Central: Translation of cheerful

Nglish: Translation of cheerful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheerful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cheerful

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


a nest or breeding place

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