\ ˈjȯi How to pronounce joy (audio) \

Definition of joy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
2 : a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3 : a source or cause of delight


joyed; joying; joys

Definition of joy (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to experience great pleasure or delight : rejoice

transitive verb

1 archaic : gladden
2 archaic : enjoy

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from joy


joyless \ ˈjȯi-​ləs How to pronounce joy (audio) \ adjective
joylessly adverb
joylessness noun

Examples of joy in a Sentence

Noun Their sorrow turned to joy. I can hardly express the joy I felt at seeing her again. Seeing her again brought tears of joy to my eyes. The flowers are a joy to behold! What a joy it was to see her again. Verb the whole town is joying in the fact that its oldest church has been restored to its Victorian splendor
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Donald Duck and his nephews struggle to bring seasonal joy to the poor of Duckburg. Washington Post, "A reading list just right for Christmas 2020: A little Dickens, a little Wilde, a little Donald Duck," 23 Dec. 2020 But research suggests that an intangible experience can often bring you joy for longer than a physical object. Popular Science, "How to spend your money for maximum happiness," 21 Dec. 2020 Lizzo knows how to bring Christmas joy, surprising her mother with a spanking new car and posting the joyous unveiling on Instagram on Sunday. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Lizzo posts Instagram video surprising her mother with new car for Christmas: 'Got you an Audi, girl!'," 21 Dec. 2020 His primary motivation was to bring a little joy into the world, Kiszla says, and to make his coworkers grin. Mary Colurso |, al, "Alabama man wears a train set that plays ‘Jingle Bells,’ and we’re here for it," 20 Dec. 2020 Babies can bring joy to even the darkest moments in our history, and those babies need names. Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, "100 Popular Baby Boy Names for 2021," 18 Dec. 2020 This is the second time Cardi has partnered with Messenger to bring her fans some joy. Essence, "Here's How You Can Connect With Cardi B To Let Her Read Your 2021 Fortune," 17 Dec. 2020 Below, 13 items that are sure to bring some joy to the week ahead. Rachel Besser, Vogue, "13 Mood-Boosting Items to Bring Joy to Your Days Ahead," 16 Dec. 2020 Keeping Peppermint Ice Cream in the freezer this season will bring joy to your sweet tooth in a variety of ways. Rebecca White, Dallas News, "Peppermint ice cream recipe with 5 simple ingredients," 15 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As professional photography editors, we are accustomed to seeing a little bit of everything: war, famine, fires, hurricanes, politics, suffering, beauty, silliness and sometimes joy. Washington Post, "An extraordinary year in photos," 9 Dec. 2020 Cochran hopes the performance will bring people joy. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Unable to sing together, Anchorage choir members try to keep community alive during unusual holiday season," 29 Nov. 2020 Part of reversing that fear is getting families to steadily recall memories, tastes, and other sensations that gave their sons and daughters joy or comfort in youth. Fox News, "Confessions of a former jihadist recruiter who now deradicalizes potential terrorists," 3 May 2018 There are three ways to get involved: Wear PINK in Holly’s honor Make a plan to share hugs and spread love & joy through random acts of heartfelt kindness for those in your community. Jeff Zrebiec,, "The Heap family is asking you to honor the memory of their daughter Wednesday," 2 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of joy


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for joy

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French joie, from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium, from gaudēre to rejoice; probably akin to Greek gēthein to rejoice

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about joy

Time Traveler for joy

Time Traveler

The first known use of joy was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for joy

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Joy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for joy


How to pronounce joy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of joy

: a feeling of great happiness
: a source or cause of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone
British, informal : success in doing, finding, or getting something


\ ˈjȯi How to pronounce joy (audio) \

Kids Definition of joy

1 : a feeling of pleasure or happiness that comes from success, good fortune, or a sense of well-being
2 : something that gives pleasure or happiness It's a joy to have you visit.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on joy

What made you want to look up joy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!