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 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 As a special treat for all Beauty Insiders, the retailer is offering deals on luxury brands like Olaplex and Dior that will put shoppers in a jolly mood. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 3 Dec. 2021 In a production that could feel mechanical at times, E. Mani Cadet was all heart as the jolly Ghost of Christmas Present — but didn’t neglect the darker side of his spectral character when called for. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 14 Dec. 2021 The jolly man in red will be driven through the streets of Norridge for a Santa Send Off starting at noon. Myrna Petlicki, chicagotribune.com, 30 Nov. 2021 The consumer safety group has safety warnings for the holly jolly time of the year too. Sara Smart And Justin Lear, CNN, 16 Nov. 2021 The Glam One Eyeshadow Palette, that'll definitely put you in a jolly mood. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 5 Nov. 2021 Or maybe that’s just my jolly journalist’s view of his recent venture into what sounded eyelash-close to an endorsement of Democratic icon Stacey Abrams to replace Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, 1 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The holiday season is wrapping up but there's still one more week of holly jolly cheer on the Purple People Bridge as the Winter Nights River Lights display will be up until Jan. 17. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 11 Jan. 2022 In the movies, Black characters were jolly statuary — hoisting luggage, serving food, tending children — meant to decorate a white American’s dream. New York Times, 7 Jan. 2022 Twelve Days of McDonald’s would be my own personal jolly happy Dante’s Inferno, each day a new circle. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 1 Jan. 2022 Stylish studs, hoops, or dangle-style earrings highlight your face and sparkly jewelry makes anyone more jolly. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Nov. 2021 Not a vision to make Indiana Jones jolly, for sure. Joy Wallace Dickinson, orlandosentinel.com, 24 Oct. 2021 The 5-foot display has built-in LED lights, so guests can enjoy his jolly smile throughout the night. Nicol Natale, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Nov. 2021 Keep the spirits high—not to mention flowing—and feed the jolly Falstaff in all your guests and giftees this holiday season. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2021 The Hangar Kafe in Miller, Missouri — about 35 miles west of Springfield — will offer flights with jolly ol' Saint Nick in a 1956 Cessna 180, which just so happens to be painted red and white. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, 3 Nov. 2021 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

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jolly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jolly. Accessed 17 May. 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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