gai·​ety | \ ˈgā-ə-tē How to pronounce gaiety (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
plural gaieties

Definition of gaiety

1 : merrymaking also : festive activity often used in plural
2 : high spirits : merriment

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of gaiety in a Sentence

The party had none of the gaiety we've seen in past years. the gaiety of the carnival
Recent Examples on the Web Some had covered World War II and were relieved to focus on scenes of gaiety, society and leisure. Washington Post, "Holiday magazine: The rise and fall of the glamorous mid-century travel publication," 9 Apr. 2020 But on a gloomy August day, sitting in Billboard’s New York offices, Wrabel is, in fact, quite the picture of that other definition of gaiety. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Wrabel's Road to Happiness: How the Singer-Songwriter Went Independent & Found Joy," 29 Aug. 2019 People watching the parades in all their color, the stuntmen performing impossible feats, the gaiety, the music, measured their ordinary lives against this enchantment and ran away to join the circus. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "When ‘The Circus’ Came to Town," 4 Oct. 2018 Wickedness transcends heartfelt gaiety in the form of neglect, illness and despair. Lawrence Elizabeth Knox, Houston Chronicle, "The inspiring songs of the ‘Nightingale’ at ROCO," 4 Apr. 2018 Before these gripping moments, exceptionally realistic in a musical, there has been a festival of romance and gaiety. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Sound of Music': THR's 1965 Review," 2 Mar. 2018 The American entertainment company have announced that the series, called First Team: Juventus, will kick off on February 16, which is a bit to late for football-loving couples' Valentine's Day gaiety, unfortunately., "Netflix & Skill: Juve Announce Dates for Upcoming Docu-Series With Video Streaming Giants," 25 Jan. 2018 Daphne, not the most doting of mothers, returns to the gaiety of London, leaving her husband and child to bond; their time together inspires Milne's hugely successful foray into children's fiction. Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, "Goodbye Christopher Robin reveals the unhappy boy behind Winnie-the-Pooh," 19 Oct. 2017 Daphne, not the most doting of mothers, returns to the gaiety of London, leaving her husband and child to bond Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, "Goodbye Christopher Robin reveals the unhappy boy behind Winnie-the-Pooh," 19 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of gaiety

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gaiety

earlier, "cheerfulness," borrowed from Middle French gayeté, going back to Old French, from gai gay entry 1 + -eté -ity

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gaiety

Time Traveler for gaiety

Time Traveler

The first known use of gaiety was in 1634

See more words from the same year

Statistics for gaiety

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gaiety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gaiety


How to pronounce gaiety (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gaiety

old-fashioned : a happy and lively quality


gai·​ety | \ ˈgā-ə-tē \
plural gaieties

Kids Definition of gaiety

1 : happy and lively activity : merrymaking There were sounds of gaiety outside, musical instruments, and noisy tongues, and laughter.— Charles Dickens, The Cricket on the Hearth
2 : bright spirits or manner The bad news ended their gaiety.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on gaiety

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gaiety

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gaiety

Spanish Central: Translation of gaiety

Nglish: Translation of gaiety for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gaiety for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gaiety

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!