\ 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

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Other Words from joy


joyless \ ˈjȯi-​ləs How to pronounce joyless (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So while not a hard and fast prerequisite for joy, having enough in the bank can certainly take the sting out of happiness inhibitors. Dan Carson, Houston Chronicle, "The minimum salary you need to be happy in Houston (and other cities)," 26 Nov. 2019 All the while, the jolt of success allowed Spartan fans to take joy over their in-state rivals with a cathartic role-reversal that lasted for more than a decade. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Why Rutgers should be Michigan State football's cautionary tale of how a program can crumble," 25 Nov. 2019 USA TODAY People are finding big and small ways every day to show appreciation, spread joy, or just do something nice for someone else. Sheeka Sanahori, USA TODAY, "World Kindness Day 2019: Five inspiring acts of kindness of the year," 13 Nov. 2019 Taking a break from anything that might excite us allows our brains to recalibrate and our dopamine dependence to wear off, which leads to more focus and taking more joy from simple stuff. Ryan Kost,, "Dopamine fasting: How Silicon Valley is trying to hack our brains," 5 Nov. 2019 The president seemed to take particular joy in recounting gruesome, gory details, citing the Islamic State beheadings of Americans in orange jumpsuits and a need to convince others to not join forces. Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Trump gives vivid account of the Baghdadi raid," 27 Oct. 2019 Every video after were rehearsals filled with pure joy, laughter, and gratitude to be able to express ourselves through dance. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Sailor Brinkley-Cook Says 'DWTS' Helped Her Conquer Her Lifelong Stage Fright," 25 Oct. 2019 For me, the phrase sticks, reminding me of why Ami and other journalists go to such great lengths to witness and share with us the world’s joy, pain, and wonder. National Geographic, "Can a rhino bring us together?," 25 Oct. 2019 The euphoria on the street made up for the lack of joy in Saied’s glassy grey eyes. 1843, "Tunisia’s new president: how memes and viral videos led to a “Robocop” revolution," 18 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for joy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for joy

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Joy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on joy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for joy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joy

Spanish Central: Translation of joy

Nglish: Translation of joy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of joy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about joy

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).


heavy with or as if with moisture

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