jol·​li·​ty | \ ˈjä-lə-tē How to pronounce jollity (audio) \
plural jollities

Definition of jollity

1 : the quality or state of being jolly : merriment
2 British : a festive gathering

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Examples of jollity in a Sentence

I love all of the warmhearted jollity of the holiday season.
Recent Examples on the Web There's a disarming jollity to Vänskä's interpretation of the second movement, its rapidly changing rhythmic structure displaying an admirable cohesiveness. Rob Hubbard, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Orchestra's new 'Mahler 10' album is a gripping journey through pain, love," 15 Mar. 2021 False jollity and overenthusiastic signifying do not fill in the gaps between ideas. New York Times, "Bringing Out the Best of Sondheim, Herman and … Schraubstader?," 3 Feb. 2021 Sorkin overplays the grave jollity inside the courthouse, but as beautifully played by Baron Cohen in easily the film’s best performance, Abbie is the one character whose showboating clearly fronts a deeper concern. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Chicago 7’: Fast-talking court drama is a window on protest and America," 14 Oct. 2020 Upstart Crow gives us Shakespeare in the flesh, along with plenty of jollity and ale. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Shakespeare: The Sitcom," 2 Apr. 2020 One day, as Greta nears the point of needing hospitalization, the family, in a desperate bid for domestic jollity, bakes cinnamon buns together. Kirsten Denker, The New Republic, "The Education of Greta Thunberg," 17 Mar. 2020 Gabriel Conroy, the Morkans’ intellectual nephew, feels torn between straightforward goodwill and a snobbish detachment from his family, Christmas jollity and Ireland itself. The Economist, "Few tidings of comfort and joy Forget “A Christmas Carol”—“The Dead” is the greatest Christmas story," 2 Dec. 2019 Then, last November, just before the latest feast, Rustat’s name was quietly dropped from the jollities. The Economist, "Ties that bind British universities are examining how they benefited from slavery," 6 Feb. 2020 The accompanying message has all the signs of the quintessential 21st-century Bigfoot fan: excitement coupled with forced, we’re-just-having-a-laugh jollity. oregonlive, "‘Bigfoot’ spotted on Washington state’s Sherman Pass webcam, sparking new frenzy over fabled beast," 23 Jan. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for jollity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for jollity

Last Updated

24 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jollity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for jollity



English Language Learners Definition of jollity

formal : a happy and cheerful quality or state : the quality or state of being jolly


jol·​li·​ty | \ ˈjä-lə-tē How to pronounce jollity (audio) \

Kids Definition of jollity

: the state of being happy and cheerful

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