hap·​pi·​ness | \ˈha-pē-nəs \

Definition of happiness 

1 obsolete : good fortune : prosperity all happiness bechance to thee— William Shakespeare

2a : a state of well-being and contentment : joy

b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience I wish you every happiness in life. I had the happiness of seeing you— W. S. Gilbert

3 : felicity, aptness a striking happiness of expression

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Examples of happiness in a Sentence

They made a toast to long life and happiness. her happiness was complete when she got her very own house

Recent Examples on the Web

One study found that use of ephemeral social media like Snapchat was correlated with greater happiness, while more lasting social-media use has been linked to higher rates of anxiety and depression. Jeanne Whalen, WSJ, "Is Screen Time Bad for Children’s Mental Health?," 24 June 2018 She was overcome with happiness having accomplished her goal of completing the race. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa couple celebrates finishing Ironman race with surprise proposal, engagement," 14 June 2018 Video from the special event shows the window cleaners drawing smiley faces and giving high-fives to the patients as the little ones erupted in happiness. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Window washers dressed as superheroes surprise young patients at Iowa hospital," 29 June 2018 Hotopp asked Doc as the dog spun around in circles and jumped and wagged his tail in happiness. Sheeka Sanahori, USA TODAY, "Dog overjoyed his human is back from deployment," 22 May 2018 So don’t expect a new and improved News Feed to result in an immediate boost in happiness — even by just 20 percent. Aja Romano, Vox, "Mark Zuckerberg lays out Facebook’s 3-pronged approach to fake news," 3 Apr. 2018 John Tangkitcharoenthawon, a local village chairman, was bursting with happiness over the successful rescue. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright, Houston Chronicle, "'Everyone is safe' after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 11 July 2018 Findings suggest that cognitive impairment is not a deterrent to happiness. chicagotribune.com, "Research finds seniors seem to enjoy longer brain health than in the past," 18 June 2018 Findings suggest that cognitive impairment is not a deterrent to happiness. Judith Graham, Washington Post, "Research shows that the prevalence of dementia has fallen in the United States," 16 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for happiness

see happy

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Learn More about happiness

Dictionary Entries near happiness






happy camper

happy dust

Statistics for happiness

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for happiness

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

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English Language Learners Definition of happiness

: the state of being happy

: an experience that makes you happy

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Comments on happiness

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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