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

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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

Jupiter, also called Jove, was the chief Roman god and was considered a majestic, authoritative type—just the kind of god to name a massive planet like Jupiter for. Our word jovial comes by way of Middle French from the Late Latin adjective jovialis, meaning "of or relating to Jove." When English speakers first picked up jovial in the late 16th century, it was a term of astrology used to describe those born under the influence of Jupiter, which, as a natal planet, was believed to impart joy and happiness. They soon began applying jovial to folks who shared the good-natured character of Jupiter, regardless of their birth date.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Andrews described her grandson as a smart, jovial and loving boy. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "‘I can’t sleep:’ Grandmother of slain 6-year-old boy reported suspected abuse to Cuyahoga County Child and Family Services, police," 4 May 2021 There was a jovial mood on the Senate floor Thursday as members made some final tweaks to the bill. al, "Winemakers are a step closer to being able to ship their products directly to consumers in Alabama," 30 Apr. 2021 Her jovial carefree side is a little more guarded now. Samantha Highfill,, "Odette Annable previews Geri's 'complicated' return to Walker," 15 Apr. 2021 Throughout his career as an actor, Mr. Segal also made appearances as a jovial banjo player in Dixieland bands and as a guest on talk shows. Washington Post, "George Segal, actor of roguish charm and wide dramatic range, dies at 87," 24 Mar. 2021 Her music is full of lilting melodies, soulful rhythms and often is interjected with some jovial scatting. Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune, "30 essential Black musicians who defined Minnesota's sound," 27 Feb. 2021 Matt Harvey has tried to integrate himself in an Orioles clubhouse full of younger players whose resumes lack the accomplishments his does by bringing in a jovial attitude each morning. Nathan Ruiz,, "With spot on Orioles roster assured, Matt Harvey doesn’t want to recapture his old form. He wants to be better.," 25 Mar. 2021 The event was given an official designation, AT2018cow, but soon went by a more jovial nickname: the Cow. Quanta Magazine, "New Kind of Space Explosion Reveals the Birth of a Black Hole," 10 Mar. 2021 Offering an opportunity to start the discussion with their favorite team cheer can bolster a more jovial mood for the meeting. Michael Timmes, Forbes, "How To Grow Employee Engagement In A Remote Environment," 4 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of jovial

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jovial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for jovial



English Language Learners Definition of jovial

: full of happiness and joy


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

Kids Definition of jovial

Other Words from jovial

jovially adverb

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Comments on jovial

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