1

jolly

adjective jol·ly \ ˈjä-lē \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of jolly

jollier; jolliest
1 a (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

Examples of jolly in a Sentence

  1. Our boss was a very jolly man, always laughing.

  2. She had a jolly time at the party.

Recent Examples of jolly from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of jolly

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

jolly Synonyms

Synonyms
blithesome, festive, gay, gleeful, jocose, jocular, jocund, merry, jovial, laughing, mirthful, sunny
Antonyms
disagreeable, pleasureless, unpalatable, unpleasant, unwelcome
Related Words
amused, beaming, chuckling, giggling, smiling; bright, buoyant, carefree, cheerful, cheery, chipper, lighthearted, lightsome, upbeat; animated, bouncing, frisky, jaunty, lively, peppy, perky, spirited, sprightful, sprightly, vivacious, zippy; blessed (also blest), blissful, delighted, ecstatic, elated, enraptured, entranced, euphoric, exhilarated, exuberant, exultant, gladsome, happy, high, joyful, joyous, jubilant, overjoyed, radiant, rapturous, ravished, thrilled, tickled; amusing, facetious, flippant, frolicsome, funny, hilarious, jesting, joking, joshing, playful, sportive, witty; cavalier, devil-may-care, easygoing, happy-go-lucky, insouciant, unconcerned; hopeful, optimistic, rosy, sanguine; antic, comic, comical, farcical, humorous, riotous, sidesplitting, uproarious
Near Antonyms
abject, aggrieved, anguished, blue, brokenhearted, crestfallen, dejected, depressed, despondent, disconsolate, disheartened, dispirited, downcast, downhearted, forlorn, glum, heartbroken, heartsick, heavyhearted, low-spirited, melancholy, sad, saddened, sorrowful, unhappy; crying, groaning, moaning, sobbing, wailing, weeping; discontented, disgruntled, moody; doleful, dolorous, joyless, lachrymose, lugubrious, mournful, plaintive, sorry, woeful; black, bleak, cheerless, comfortless, dark, depressing, desolate, dismal, dreary, gloomy, glum, gray (also grey), morose, saturnine, somber (or sombre), sullen; miserable, woebegone, wretched; dull, lethargic, listless, sluggish, torpid

Synonym Discussion of jolly

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

2

jolly

adverb

Definition of jolly

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

Examples of jolly in a Sentence

  1. “I've finished my assignment.” “Jolly good!”

  2. She learned to be jolly careful in his presence.

Recent Examples of jolly from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of jolly

see 1jolly


3

jolly

noun

Definition of jolly

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

Recent Examples of jolly from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of jolly

see 1jolly


4

jolly

verb

Definition of jolly

jollied; jollying
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

Examples of jolly in a Sentence

  1. spent their nights around the campfire good-naturedly jollying and telling scary stories

Recent Examples of jolly from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of jolly

see 1jolly

jolly Synonyms



JOLLY Defined for English Language Learners

jolly

adjective

Definition of jolly for English Language Learners

  • : full of happiness and joy : happy and cheerful

  • : very pleasant or enjoyable


jolly

adverb

Definition of jolly for English Language Learners

  • : very or extremely


JOLLY Defined for Kids

1

jolly

adjective jol·ly \ ˈjä-lē \

Definition of jolly for Students

jollier; jolliest
: full of fun or joy

2

jolly

adverb

Definition of jolly for Students

: 1very 1
  • We had a jolly good time.


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