gai·​ly ˈgā-lē How to pronounce gaily (audio)
variants or less commonly gayly
: in a gay manner : marked by gaiety

Examples of gaily in a Sentence

we sat around the table, gaily teasing each other and laughing about the good old days children gaily running to the buses on the last day of school
Recent Examples on the Web Cicadas thrummed gaily, fields shimmered with bird and insect life. Joyce Carol Oates, Harper's Magazine, 10 July 2023 The butterflies enter first, quivering gaily atop their sticks. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2023 Keep us gaily making pins! Kim Phillips-Fein, The New Republic, 27 Feb. 2023 Passengers stood at the windows, waving gaily. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 May 2021 With the Meyerson gaily festooned for the holiday season, there were lighting effects and some projections. Dallas News, 26 Nov. 2022 All the elements to the left of plutonium in the periodic table are quite willing to share electrons with each other, gaily forming compounds hither and thither; the elements to the right, far less so. Valerie Brown, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2018 The movie is a beastly thing, and proud of it—a gaily sadistic kerfuffle, from which all traces of tenderness have been expunged. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 5 Aug. 2022 Casanova gaily set off for southern Italy, expecting to live well there. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 20 June 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gaily.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English gayly, from gay gay entry 1 + -ly -ly entry 2

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gaily was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near gaily

Cite this Entry

“Gaily.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also gayly
: in a merry or lively way
: in a bright or showy way
gaily dressed crowds

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