\ 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 This [home kit] program is really to support the children’s emotional state by bringing joy to children through games sports and activities. Gary Curreri,, "Homeschool program adds at-home PE kits," 9 Oct. 2020 In June, activities that had brought him joy became battles to get started. Jason Kahn, STAT, "Kids’ heart rates are rising as the pandemic drags on," 25 Sep. 2020 So, Spaghetti fell into our lives and has brought us all such joy. Mika Brzezinski, NBC News, "Mika: How my pets are helping me make it through this pandemic," 24 Sep. 2020 For all the details on how Kristin Cavallari is raising three kids, making changes at Uncommon James and finding new joy after her split from Jay Cutler, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. Melody Chiu,, "Kristin Cavallari Breaks Her Silence on Divorce from Jay Cutler: 'Hardest Decision I've Ever Made'," 23 Sep. 2020 Howard has tried to find some joy, focusing on winning his first NBA championship. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Lakers center Dwight Howard appreciates moments of joy during rough time," 23 Sep. 2020 For parents at all socio-economic levels, spending time with their kids is a way to find joy; CEOs and other money-rich, time-poor employees may miss out on this quality family time. Doug Johnson, National Geographic, "How you perceive time may depend on your income," 22 Sep. 2020 Schitt's Creek has brought joy to so many people across the world throughout its six seasons. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'Schitt's Creek' Swept the 2020 Emmys," 21 Sep. 2020 The pianist and violinist began giving his time in 2015, bringing joy to the elderly at Houston-area senior living homes with his music. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Houston teens launch free online tutoring service," 21 Sep. 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

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 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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