\ 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 One reason for such popularity is obvious: like the rest of us, but more so, undergrads are under-rested and overworked, and need help making their lives more of a joy and less of a misery. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "Can Podcasts Improve Our Well-Being?," 28 Sep. 2020 Guyton shared her joy after the occasion with fans on Instagram. Shelby Stewart, Houston Chronicle, "Mickey Guyton makes history as the first Black woman to perform at the ACM awards," 17 Sep. 2020 Tyler and Melanie Tapajna started married life off by sharing their joy with others through plates of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. TheWeek, "New husband and wife donate and serve reception food at Ohio shelter," 31 Aug. 2020 Your newfound joy will spill into other areas of your life, including your job, making even the most difficult tasks easy to perform. Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for August 23, 2020," 23 Aug. 2020 This fall, our empty stadiums will be hollow canyons filled to the last row with haunted memories of our collective joy. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Special part of college football lost with tailgate ban," 19 Aug. 2020 People find their joy in many ways: a nice weekend dinner, family time at the park. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "What Do We Do Without Live Music?," 10 Aug. 2020 His joy of being back on the field with his teammates was apparent. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Nolan Arenado Q&A: Rockies star on love of game, coronavirus, feud with front office and expectations for 60-game season," 5 July 2020 Today show star Maria Shriver also couldn’t contain her joy over the news. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Show Star Hoda Kotb Shares a Super Exciting Career Announcement with Fans on Instagram," 20 June 2020 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

1 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 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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Comments on joy

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