jo·​cund ˈjä-kənd How to pronounce jocund (audio)
 also  ˈjō-(ˌ)kənd
: marked by or suggestive of high spirits and lively mirthfulness
a poet could not but be gay, in such a jocund companyWilliam Wordsworth
jocundity noun
ˈjä-kənd-lē How to pronounce jocund (audio)

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The Tricky Etymology of Jocund

Don't let the etymology of jocund play tricks on you. The word comes from jucundus, a Latin word meaning "agreeable" or "delightful," and ultimately from the Latin verb juvare, meaning "to help." But jucundus looks and sounds a bit like jocus, the Latin word for "joke." These two roots took a lively romp through many centuries together and along the way the lighthearted jocus influenced the spelling and meaning of jucundus, an interaction that eventually resulted in our modern English word jocund in the 14th century.

Choose the Right Synonym for jocund

merry, blithe, jocund, jovial, jolly mean showing high spirits or lightheartedness.

merry suggests cheerful, joyous, uninhibited enjoyment of frolic or festivity.

a merry group of revelers

blithe suggests carefree, innocent, or even heedless gaiety.

arrived late in his usual blithe way

jocund stresses elation and exhilaration of spirits.

singing, dancing, and jocund feasting

jovial suggests the stimulation of conviviality and good fellowship.

dinner put them in a jovial mood

jolly suggests high spirits expressed in laughing, bantering, and jesting.

our jolly host enlivened the party

Examples of jocund in a Sentence

old friends engaged in jocund teasing
Recent Examples on the Web Political Mooovment forces an examination of how consuming dairy and meat harms our planet and potentially our bodies, underscored by a jocund tone. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 29 May 2021 There’s a feeling of joy that comes with walking into Jovanina’s Broken Italian, a jocund eight-month-old eatery that’s part of LoDo’s recent restaurant renaissance. Daliah Singer, The Know, 6 Aug. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'jocund.' 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, from Late Latin jocundus, alteration of Latin jucundus, from juvare to help

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near jocund

Cite this Entry

“Jocund.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


jo·​cund ˈjäk-ənd How to pronounce jocund (audio)
 also  ˈjōk-(ˌ)ənd
jocundly adverb
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