gai·​ly | \ ˈgā-lē How to pronounce gaily (audio) \
variants: or less commonly gayly

Definition of gaily

: in a gay manner : marked by gaiety

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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 The child races into the darkened room, past gleaming trays of dainty cookies and cups of punch, straight to the foot of a 15-foot pine, gaily covered in a thick blanket of white lights. Melanie Radzicki Mcmanus,, "This holiday season, don’t just watch ‘The Nutcracker.’ Be part of the story in Oshkosh, Wis.," 18 Nov. 2019 To dress cheerfully and becomingly is considered as an attempt to affect youth; to converse gaily an unsuitable effort to attract admirers. Lisa Birnbach, Washington Post, "In praise of the older women who shaped American history," 18 Oct. 2019 The ceilings are bolstered by beams of palm and eucalyptus, or geometrically coffered with wood strips in a traditional south Moroccan technique called tataoui or in one room gaily painted in the colorful Berber style. Joshua Levine, WSJ, "A Moroccan Retreat With a French Minimalist Spin," 13 Aug. 2018 Hot pink is the color of tropical Key West, from the garish bougainvillea spilling over every fence and wall to the petunias and hibiscus in its lush gardens to the houses and buildings themselves, gaily painted in every shade of pink. Lee Smith, Southern Living, "WATCH: Memories of My Summer of 1958 in Paradise," 19 June 2018 Bob Cummings plays the psychiatrist who listens to this gaily macabre tale. James Powers, The Hollywood Reporter, "'What a Way to Go!': THR's 1964 Review," 13 May 2018 These incentives have spawned a meandering armada of live-aboard cabin cruisers, barges, narrowboats, and other gaily painted scows now afloat on Britain’s inland waterways, some just barely. Dan Neil, WSJ, "The Low-Cost Way to Live Abroad: Buy a Boat," 30 Mar. 2018 For good measure, spotlighted and spinning mirror-balls send dots of light gaily skittering around the room. Christopher Knight,, "Charlemagne Palestine: Teddy bears to the rescue," 24 Feb. 2018 Here the Carnival maskers don gaily colored costumes and mount horses to ride through the countryside gathering 'donations' of chickens and other ingredients for the gigantic community gumbo-cooking which occurs that night., "Cajun Mardi Gras: Vintage photos from The Times-Picayune," 19 Jan. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gaily

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

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Time Traveler for gaily

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Gaily.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for gaily


How to pronounce gaily (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gaily

: in a happy and lively way
: in a bright and colorful way


gai·​ly | \ ˈgā-lē \

Kids Definition of gaily

1 : in a merry or lively way Children were playing gaily.
2 : in a bright or showy way The performers were gaily dressed.

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More from Merriam-Webster on gaily

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gaily

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gaily

Spanish Central: Translation of gaily

Nglish: Translation of gaily for Spanish Speakers

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