jo·​vial | \ ˈjō-vē-əl How to pronounce jovial (audio) , -vyəl \

Definition of jovial

1 : characterized by good-humored cheerfulness and conviviality : jolly a jovial host a jovial welcome spent a jovial evening together
2 capitalized : of or relating to Jove

Other Words from jovial

joviality \ ˌjō-​vē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce jovial (audio) \ noun
jovially \ ˈjō-​vē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce jovial (audio) , -​vyə-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for jovial

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

Jovial and Birth Dates

In Roman astrology, planets were named after gods, and people were thought to share the personality traits of the god whose planet was rising when they were born. Jupiter, also called Jove, was the chief Roman god and was considered a majestic type who was the source of joy and happiness. The Latin adjective jovialis means "of or relating to Jove." In French, this had become jovial, which English borrowed and used to describe people and things full of cheer or joy.

Examples of jovial in a Sentence

In response, an infuriating wink: Alsana always likes to appear jovial at the very moment that her interlocutor becomes hot under the collar. — Zadie Smith, White Teeth, 2001 I felt I was slumming, in my own life. My task was to ward off the drivel … the jovial claptrap of classmates and teachers, the maddening bromides I heard at home. — Susan Sontag, New Yorker, 21 Dec. 1987 For, the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee; calling out to one another from the parapets, and now and then exchanging a facetious snowball … — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843 The audience was in a jovial mood. He's a very jovial man.
Recent Examples on the Web Brown was the jovial young assistant; Kerr was the reserve guard nearing the end of a 15-year playing career. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 May 2022 But their jovial attitude will be tested by a company that seems likely to drag its feet to the bargaining table. Haleluya Hadero, ajc, 24 Apr. 2022 One of those in the last category was Natalya Steblina, 41, a surprisingly jovial woman who stayed with her 82-year-old mother, two grandsons, a dog and a cat. Nabih Bulosstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2022 Taylor Hawkins, the jovial, ferocious drummer for Foo Fighters, has died at the age of 50, according to a statement from the band. Kat Bouza, Rolling Stone, 26 Mar. 2022 Asked what guests appear on the song, Pusha goes into full jovial barker mode. Jason Newman, Rolling Stone, 18 Apr. 2022 Geno Walker plays Ken, who recently suffered a breakdown that drove him away from his kids, his ex-wife (Kate Arrington) and her jovial new husband (Michael Shannon). Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2022 Although a jovial and peaceable presence off-screen, he was admired for his ability to tap into reservoirs of anger, especially when playing characters with a strong streak of rebelliousness against authority. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2022 She was recently seen making a jovial video call with The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 17 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of jovial

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jovial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for jovial


jo·​vial | \ ˈjō-vē-əl How to pronounce jovial (audio) \

Kids Definition of jovial

Other Words from jovial

jovially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on jovial

Nglish: Translation of jovial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jovial for Arabic Speakers


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