fe·​lic·​i·​ty | \fi-ˈli-sə-tē \
plural felicities

Definition of felicity 

1a : the quality or state of being happy especially : great happiness marital felicity

b : an instance of happiness

2 : something that causes happiness … the small felicities and absurdities of real life manage to peek through the gloom.— A. O. Scott

3 : a pleasing manner or quality especially in art or language a felicity with words The curve of her mouth gives her a Mona Lisa smile, but that's just a felicity of her anatomy.— Diane Ackerman

4 : an apt expression The poet was well known for his felicities.

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Examples of felicity in a Sentence

I've always admired his felicity with words. told his friends that marriage had brought him a felicity that he had never known before

Recent Examples on the Web

When a graduate student can still depend on a departmental stipend, or institutional fellowship of some sort, the felicities of academia are easier to appreciate in the midst of the adversities. Rachel Vorona Cote, The New Republic, "Volunteers of the Ivory Tower," 1 May 2018 As their romance develops, the sensitivity and insight with which Johnson treats Andrea’s bewilderment and shame at betraying not just her identity but her people — lesbians as a community — are among this novel’s many felicities. Christine Sneed, New York Times, "She’s Here, She’s Queer, She’s Figuring Out What That Means," 11 Apr. 2018 There are other credible explanations for Trump's felicity towards Putin. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Is Trump's silence on Putin, Daniels telling?," 27 Mar. 2018 If there are stumbles along the way, there are also many felicities. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Sisters Plot Their Escapes From ‘Napoli, Brooklyn’," 27 June 2017 And at the annual CatCon in Pasadena, which celebrates the summit of feline felicity, cat videos play a big role. Angela Hill, The Mercury News, "Lion kings: Why cats are the lords of the internet," 13 June 2017 In a production that was studded with many felicities, this one, in its simplicity, stood out. Special To The Plain Dealer, cleveland.com, "The Cleveland Opera mounts felicitous, understated 'La Boheme' (review)," 13 June 2017 There are many other felicities scattered throughout, like a Christmas concert by the Irish folk group Danú and the Kansas City Chorale (Dec. 9), the Russian String Orchestra (March 3) and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (March 11). Patrick Neas, kansascity.com, "‘Monty Python’ & ‘Star Trek’ fans will relish the new JCCC season lineup," 12 May 2017 SANTA MONICA, California –- Think Felicity with zombies. Michael Stroud, WIRED, "Cartoons Have Online Screen Tests," 19 July 2000

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'felicity.' 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 felicity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for felicity

Middle English felicite, from Anglo-French felicité, from Latin felicitat-, felicitas, from felic-, felix fruitful, happy — more at feminine

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Time Traveler for felicity

The first known use of felicity was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for felicity



English Language Learners Definition of felicity

: great happiness

: something that is pleasing and well chosen

: a talent for speaking or writing in a very effective way


fe·​lic·​i·​ty | \fə-ˈli-sə-tē \

Kids Definition of felicity

: great happiness

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Comments on felicity

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


by force of circumstances

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