joy

noun
\ ˈjȯi \

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

joy

verb
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

Noun

joyless \ ˈjȯi-​ləs \ 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

Wearing this gem is thought to help your courage and increase your joy. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "What’s Your Sign? Karen Elson on Her New Birthstone Perfume Bottle Tops," 18 Jan. 2019 Concentrating on the fact that the original cast don’t entirely hate each other is a good place to start to keep the faith, so the latest hangout between Lindsay Lohan and another OG star is sure to fill any Mean Girls-loving heart with joy. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Lindsay Lohan and Jonathan Bennett Just Delivered Some Great 'Mean Girls' Reunion News," 7 Jan. 2019 Just forward-thinking about that has been a real joy to work with them. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Former Google lawyer and deputy U.S. CTO Nicole Wong on Recode Decode," 12 Sep. 2018 His expressions change like the light on a partly sunny day, going bright with joy then clouding over with gloom, then breaking through with streaks of hope. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "What Littleton Learned," 1 Aug. 2018 Fresh water fishing with family and friends was a great joy also. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Cameron David Bailey," 10 June 2018 In a year that brought bad news and more bad news, Bodys Isek Kingelez’s brik-brak fantasy models at MoMA were shots of pure joy. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "2018 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the urbanism," 27 Dec. 2018 Better known as mums, the chrysanthemum flower is a symbol of optimism and joy. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "12 Best Valentine's Day Flower Arrangements for That Special Someone," 18 Dec. 2018 Her much-talked-about KonMari Method suggests parting with any items that don't spark joy. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "How to Organize Your Home in 2019, According to Marie Kondo," 29 Oct. 2018

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, baltimoresun.com, "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

Noun

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

Verb

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

Dictionary Entries near joy

jowly

jowser

jowter

joy

joyance

Joyce

joyful

Statistics for joy

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for joy

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for joy

joy

noun

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

joy

noun
\ ˈjȯi \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on joy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for joy

Spanish Central: Translation of joy

Nglish: Translation of joy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of joy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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