\ 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 Few people know the joy of a free Sunday like Jule Hall. New York Times, "How Jule Hall, Graduate of the Bard Prison Initiative, Spends His Sundays," 10 Jan. 2020 One of the genuine joys of watching a movie is seeing the seamless (with any luck) integration of disparate takes and scenes into a single, coherent story. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "It's easier to admire Sam Mendes' film '1917' than to fully feel it. Here's why," 8 Jan. 2020 People tune in for the inevitable drunk speeches, and the joy of seeing TV and movies faves collide for one special night. Anne Cohen,, "The 2020 Golden Globes Took One Step Forward, Five Steps Back," 7 Jan. 2020 Not only is Reid instantly soothed, but his breathing also changes to match the song’s slow tempo, and his eyes almost miraculously light up with quiet joy. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Hit "Lose You to Love Me" Soothes a Fussy Baby in Viral Video," 3 Jan. 2020 Nahin and Elana each perform a terrific solo full of the joy of technical mastery. Jennifer Homans, The New Yorker, "Noche Flamenca Gets Deeper with Age," 30 Dec. 2019 There's a story mode with plenty of levels to finish on your own as well, but there's nothing greater than the joy of creating — except maybe sharing with the world. 8. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "These are our favorite video games of 2019," 26 Dec. 2019 The lyrics are about the joy having a lover this Christmas who wasn’t there last year, similar to Carey’s lyrics about only wanting her lover to be there this Christmas. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "The data suggest Kelly Clarkson wrote the successor to “All I Want for Christmas Is You”," 24 Dec. 2019 Unbridled ambition can blunt the joy of the work, Mr. Skeel believes. Mary Beth Mccauley, The Christian Science Monitor, "Jealousy at Ivy League level: How a law professor views Tenth Commandment," 23 Dec. 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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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).


experienced by way of someone else

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