\ 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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The pure joy Yurachek showed celebrating with his family and others on the field after the game crystallized his decision of valuing Pittman’s passion and desire to lead the Arkansas program. John Talty |, al, 16 Sep. 2021 The Fuell Flluid-E is a rare example of an ebike that deftly and cleanly combines the bigger, more solid presence and spirit of a motorcycle with the utility, ease and joy of a bicycle. Bill Roberson, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 The heavy lifting part of the job gave Yard Goats president Tim Restall as much joy as anything this summer. Dom Amore,, 16 Sep. 2021 The songs are fairly catchy, Harwood's a joy to watch and Richard E. Grant's great as a former drag performer and mentor. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 16 Sep. 2021 In the daily dress of its people — which is to say, in the look of the collective — there are tales of unease, joy and resilience. Jason Parham, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 When the shoemaker, Shimin Yosel, stands at the pulpit to honor the Sabbath with his glorious tone, all the Jews join in with great joy and delight. Ron Grossman,, 15 Sep. 2021 Both bringing a mix of self-confidence, determination – and, yes, joy – to their sudden emergence on the sport’s largest stage. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Sep. 2021 Different eras of students watching different eras of IU football — changes in coaching staffs and players, from dismal seasons to high expectations — all sharing the same joy in hoisting a hunk of metal in the air. Matt Cohen, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And each has discovered ways to continue bringing light and joy into the world. Julianna Morano, Dallas News, 16 Sep. 2021 This painting inspires joy rather like Hokusai’s beautiful blue skies, an almost tactile sense of the atmosphere as something that sustains and protects us. Washington Post, 16 July 2021 Typically, a Tanglewood summer sends everyone off with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and its famous paean to joy., 16 Aug. 2021 Burkina Faso gained its independence from France in 1960 -- and often joy. Nick Remsen, CNN, 22 June 2021 And wider gaps, too—the ones created by grief (or even joy) that someone else will never understand. Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 But some of the most affecting shots in the book are quieter, more solitary—eschewing big, newsmaking events for private moments of fear, grief, disorientation, and sometimes even joy. Amy Weiss-meyer, The Atlantic, 23 Apr. 2021 Alexis McGill Johnson, the president of Planned Parenthood, said the worries that plagued her throughout 2020 gave way to joy with the Democrats' Senate victories in Georgia. David Crary, Star Tribune, 23 Jan. 2021 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, 9 Dec. 2020

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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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Joy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for joy



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
: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on joy

Nglish: Translation of joy for Spanish Speakers

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


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