jolly

adjective
jol·​ly | \ ˈjä-lē How to pronounce jolly (audio) \
jollier; jolliest

Definition of jolly

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a(1) : full of high spirits : joyous think no more, lad; laugh, be jolly— A. E. Housman
(2) : given to conviviality : jovial a jolly companion
b : expressing, suggesting, or inspiring lively happiness and good cheer : cheerful jolly laughter
2 : extremely pleasant or agreeable : splendid had a jolly time

jolly

adverb

Definition of jolly (Entry 2 of 4)

: very would … do as they were jolly well told— John Stockbridge

jolly

noun
plural jollies

Definition of jolly (Entry 3 of 4)

1 chiefly British : a good time : jollification
2 jollies plural : kicks get their jollies by reenacting famous murders— H. F. Waters

jolly

verb
jollied; jollying

Definition of jolly (Entry 4 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to engage in good-natured banter jollied and joked with sailors in the street— Dixon Wecter

transitive verb

: to put or try to put in good humor especially to gain an end try to pay for their entertainment by jollying us along— S. E. White

Choose the Right Synonym for jolly

Adjective

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 jolly in a Sentence

Adjective Our boss was a very jolly man, always laughing. She had a jolly time at the party. Adverb “I've finished my assignment.” “Jolly good!” She learned to be jolly careful in his presence. Verb spent their nights around the campfire good-naturedly jollying and telling scary stories
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On Sunday, Disney revealed the new teaser trailer for the upcoming Disney+ limited series, The Santa Clauses, which features Tim Allen reprising his iconic role as Santa and Peyton Manning looking to fill in some jolly boots. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 11 Sep. 2022 Mergers, acquisitions and new stock listings were going a mile a minute, underpinned by a generally jolly mood. Allison Morrow, CNN, 4 Aug. 2022 The JoBros created their own jolly tune in 2019 and 100% understood the assignment. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 19 Aug. 2022 At a quick glance, the flora of Hyde Park has inspired Apple to provide this jolly scene. David Phelan, Forbes, 18 July 2022 After a party, Kamala returns home and in a jolly mood starts dancing though her house and the living room to this classic tune, in a dream-like sequence. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 15 June 2022 Diplo was there for a little over an hour when his tour manager, Keaton Kinnaman, a jolly, bearded man, pulled him away for the 20-minute drive to Oasis. New York Times, 13 May 2022 This jolly exploration into the surprisingly complicated world of marmalade is a ray of sunshine, with Olivia Potts’ wonderful writing resonating with the joy that exploring this realm brings her. Longreads, 21 Apr. 2022 Western Christmas tradition centers on the jolly figure of Santa Claus and his workshop manned by adorably cheery elves at the North Pole. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb He's been portraying the jolly old elf since the first Santa Clause movie came out in 1994 as well as for the sequels, The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: Escape Clause, in 2002 and 2006. Katie Bowlby, Country Living, 15 Sep. 2022 There will also be photo opportunities with a certain jolly fellow making a summer visit from the North Pole. John Benson, cleveland, 13 July 2022 While watching the match, Boynton and Malek appeared quite jolly and smitten. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 9 July 2022 Known for throwing jolly London celebrations with Dolly Parton and Cher tribute acts, chintzy decorations and the kitschiest of catering, the designer is the hostess with the mostest—and then some. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 6 July 2022 Several series from the mid-20th century, when TV was a jolly affair across the board, are available to stream. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 16 June 2022 Photographs show Pym looking jolly and perspicacious, with charmingly crooked English teeth. Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker, 30 May 2022 Upended by guilt and grief, she's booked two weeks at a house in the English countryside that turns out to exceed all Airbnb fantasies: a grand old manor owned by a jolly, horse-y type called Geoffrey (veteran British character actor Rory Kinnear). Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 9 May 2022 Brilliantly, Atlanta presented a physical location where all the people canceled by society could have a jolly good time without being judged for their reprehensible behavior. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 6 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Audiences began to take notice of this less-than-jolly movie that flooded the airways at Christmas time, and thus a holiday tradition was born. Rachael Scott, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Audiences began to take notice of this less-than-jolly movie that flooded the airways at Christmas time, and thus a holiday tradition was born. Rachael Scott, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Audiences began to take notice of this less-than-jolly movie that flooded the airways at Christmas time, and thus a holiday tradition was born. Rachael Scott, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Audiences began to take notice of this less-than-jolly movie that flooded the airways at Christmas time, and thus a holiday tradition was born. Rachael Scott, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Audiences began to take notice of this less-than-jolly movie that flooded the airways at Christmas time, and thus a holiday tradition was born. Rachael Scott, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Audiences began to take notice of this less-than-jolly movie that flooded the airways at Christmas time, and thus a holiday tradition was born. Rachael Scott, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Audiences began to take notice of this less-than-jolly movie that flooded the airways at Christmas time, and thus a holiday tradition was born. Rachael Scott, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Audiences began to take notice of this less-than-jolly movie that flooded the airways at Christmas time, and thus a holiday tradition was born. Rachael Scott, CNN, 25 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As to the political will needed to jolly the process along, and arrange payment for those parts of the programme that will not pay for themselves, this can push both ways. The Economist, 21 Sep. 2019 So Watt sets out to convince them that the real killer is Peter Manuel by — wait for it! — taking him out on a bender and jollying him into a confession. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, 19 May 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of jolly

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Adverb

1549, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1610, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for jolly

Adjective, Adverb, Noun, and Verb

Middle English joli, from Anglo-French jolif, from jol-, probably from Old Norse jōl midwinter festival — more at yule

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Time Traveler for jolly

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near jolly

jolloped

jolly

Jolly balance

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Statistics for jolly

Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jolly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jolly. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for jolly

jolly

adjective
jol·​ly | \ ˈjä-lē How to pronounce jolly (audio) \
jollier; jolliest

Kids Definition of jolly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: full of fun or joy

jolly

adverb

Kids Definition of jolly (Entry 2 of 2)

: very entry 1 sense 1 We had a jolly good time.

More from Merriam-Webster on jolly

Nglish: Translation of jolly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jolly for Arabic Speakers

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