1 of 2


: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
: the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
: a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
: a source or cause of delight
joyless adjective
joylessly adverb
joylessness noun


2 of 2


joyed; joying; joys

intransitive verb

: to experience great pleasure or delight : rejoice

transitive verb

archaic : gladden
archaic : enjoy

Example Sentences

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
Artists like to invoke the notion of joy now, a radical defiance in the face of so much conspiring against it. Max Lakin, New York Times, 23 Nov. 2022 Seeing my dogs first thing, there's something about that that brings me true joy. Greg Presto, Men's Health, 22 Nov. 2022 The top-down, unbuckled and unbridled Cadillac joy ride is headed down a dark road toward T-town, where the T stands for trouble when Auburn football teams not led by Cam Newton pay a visit to Nick Saban. al, 20 Nov. 2022 Made from water-resistant polyester, the holiday inflatable brings the joy of Christmas to any household with a large outdoor area. Casey Clark, Peoplemag, 15 Nov. 2022 Prolific choreographer and director Fatima Robinson brings a palpable joy to the project of homemaking, focusing on the gardens, tables, and play spaces that make her home come alive. Harper's BAZAAR, 10 Nov. 2022 These gifts are for those who love to hike, camp and trail run — or for those who just want to picnic on a nice blanket or take a joy ride with their dog. Dakota Kim, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2022 Usually ending on Christmas Eve, Advent calendars are a way to spread the holiday joy through Christmas Day, hopefully ensuring that those presents that sit around the tree stay wrapped up. Danny Perez, Popular Mechanics, 28 Oct. 2022 Sharing my knowledge about jewelry design brings me joy., 22 Oct. 2022
Read her take on how three new books help chart the journey to joy. Richard Galant, CNN, 20 Nov. 2022 Gay examined the cornerstones of delight, then gratitude — and now joy. Allison Cho, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2022 Poet Ross Gay explores these questions -- What incites joy? Leah Asmelash, CNN, 25 Oct. 2022 If keeping a gratitude journal or otherwise expressing thanks isn’t a path to joy for you, think about more creative ways to reflect on and appreciate the good parts of your life. Time, 26 Sep. 2022 They joy and camaraderie between them was infectious. Steve Baltin, Forbes, 26 Mar. 2022 Trump would know about taking the life and joy out of everything. Neil J. Young, The Week, 30 July 2021 If people can pay good deeds forward, causing kindness to grow exponentially, can joy spread from one person to the next? Washington Post, 11 Dec. 2021 The last album, performed by the L.A.-based ensemble Wild Up and overseen by Seth Parker Woods, Richard Valitutto, and Christopher Rountree, is the most vital of the lot—an ode of and to joy. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 9 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near joy

Cite this Entry

“Joy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a feeling of great pleasure or happiness that comes from success, good fortune, or a sense of well-being : gladness
: something that gives joy
a joy to behold
joyless adjective
joylessness noun


2 of 2 verb
: to experience joy : rejoice

More from Merriam-Webster on joy

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