\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With that being said, there is no reason to not find joy in a uncertain time by making yourself feel good by sticking to your day to day. Nandi Howard, Essence, "The Best Dressed Black Creatives During Quarantine This Week," 15 May 2020 Meanwhile, Charlie takes the car out for a spin, and heads to his girlfriend's house to go for a joy ride. Jean Bentley,, "R29 Binge Club: Dead To Me Season 2 Recap," 9 May 2020 Suck, slurp, lick, share: these are joys of living. Sophie Pinkham, The New York Review of Books, "My Quarantine: Savoring the Ramen Western," 8 May 2020 To be the first up Cenotaph Corner in Snowdonia in 1952, when no one had previously got beyond the first 20 feet, or to find a new line up a Derbyshire peak, was sheer joy, and earned a smoke at the end of it. The Economist, "Through crack and crag Joe Brown died on April 15th," 2 May 2020 Folks, get out of your house and get lost in the joys of spring. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "The upside of coronavirus? The world has gotten quieter, something Alaskans know all about," 18 Apr. 2020 Anyone from total newbies to experts can find joy in art–be it through painting, drawing, crafting, or anything creative. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "You Can Get a Customized Package of Art Supplies Delivered to Your Doorstep," 15 Apr. 2020 Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) Taking a — wait for it — dip into this classic fantasy feels like a joy buzzer to the heart every time! Joey Nolfi,, "From Donnie Darko to Jojo Rabbit: Hollywood's most iconic bunnies, ranked," 10 Apr. 2020 The gift of olfaction is one of the joys of life, Holbrook says. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 7 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about joy

Time Traveler for joy

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for joy

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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