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 joviality (audio) \ noun
jovially \ ˈjō-​vē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce jovially (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 She is respected by her colleagues, including both physicians and nurses, and is an inspiration to the many who look up to her leadership, creativity, and jovial attitude. Alice Adams, Houston Chronicle, "Salute to Nurses: The Houston Chronicle honors 2020's top nurse leaders," 4 May 2020 Their scores showed them to be well-adjusted and jovial, with particularly low scores on anxiety. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Feeling Down? Anxious? Hostile? A 4-Day-a-Week Exercise Regimen May Help," 8 Apr. 2020 Despite the bizarre setting, and some incredibly jovial volunteers, this was serious and potentially lifesaving business. Christopher Harress |, al, "Alabama churches help fill the gaps in coronavirus testing," 27 Mar. 2020 Members of the inaugural squad are sending funny GIFs back and forth, in the jovial spirit of the holiday, before (and OK, probably during) school. Danielle Campoamor, Teen Vogue, "The First All-Girls Varsity Wrestling Team in New York Isn't Focused on Making History," 6 Mar. 2020 Jordan was in a jovial mood and appeared to be collecting some winnings from teammates on his pick to win the game. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Wisconsin sports references found inside Michael Jordan documentary, 'The Last Dance'," 28 Apr. 2020 Last year, Brett Kavanaugh took the bench for the first time as a Supreme Court justice in a jovial atmosphere that was at odds with the rancor that surrounded his confirmation., "In 1776, a group of Spanish missionaries settled in present-day San Francisco.," 9 Oct. 2019 My sons made kissy noises and my reaction was not jovial or light. New York Times, "A 40-Something Looks Back at ‘Thirtysomething’," 5 June 2019 Everyone had a personal, jovial pet walrus who could tap-dance like Fred Astaire. Evan Waite, The New Yorker, "My Happy Place," 20 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for jovial

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The first known use of jovial was in 1592

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Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jovial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for jovial


How to pronounce jovial (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on jovial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jovial

Spanish Central: Translation of jovial

Nglish: Translation of jovial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jovial for Arabic Speakers

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