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
They were locked in tight, beaming with joy, and feeding off the frenzied atmosphere in the crowd. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 2 Feb. 2023 Communities are really hurting right now, and this is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration because of Lunar New Year. Fifth & Mission Podcast, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Jan. 2023 The Good News: Trust in the Lord that your next years will be healthy, prosperous, and filled with joy. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 25 Jan. 2023 People—tens of millions of people—were filled with joy. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2023 Over the next week, those same players and fans reacted with joy at news of Hamlin's recovery. David Brandt, Chron, 16 Jan. 2023 A few days later, those same players and fans have watched with joy as Hamlin recovers. David Brandt, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Jan. 2023 There was joy and celebration at U.S. Bank Stadium when Greg Joseph’s 40-yard field goal sailed straight and true through the goalposts, ending the epic with an exclamation point. Steve Silverman, Forbes, 18 Dec. 2022 Upon being introduced to reporters and Cardinals’ employees on Tuesday, Ossenfort was visibly overwhelmed with joy. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 19 Jan. 2023
Before long, her videos were the ones bringing people joy. Ineye Komonibo,, 9 Dec. 2022 But also to joy in and record the astonishment—inner and outer. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 1 Jan. 2023 Before long, her videos were the ones bringing people joy. Ineye Komonibo,, 9 Dec. 2022 Before long, her videos were the ones bringing people joy. Ineye Komonibo,, 9 Dec. 2022 Before long, her videos were the ones bringing people joy. Ineye Komonibo,, 8 Dec. 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 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 5 Feb. 2023.

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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