mer·​ry | \ ˈmer-ē How to pronounce merry (audio) , ˈme-rē\
merrier; merriest

Definition of merry

1 : full of gaiety or high spirits : mirthful eat, drink, and be merry
2 : marked by festivity or gaiety a merry holiday time
3 : quick, brisk a merry pace
4 archaic : giving pleasure : delightful

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Other Words from merry

merrily \ ˈmer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce merrily (audio) , ˈme-​rə-​ \ adverb
merriness \ ˈmer-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce merriness (audio) , ˈme-​rē-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for merry

merry, blithe, jocund, jovial, jolly mean showing high spirits or lightheartedness. merry suggests cheerful, joyous, uninhibited enjoyment of frolic or festivity. a merry group of revelers blithe suggests carefree, innocent, or even heedless gaiety. arrived late in his usual blithe way jocund stresses elation and exhilaration of spirits. singing, dancing, and jocund feasting jovial suggests the stimulation of conviviality and good fellowship. dinner put them in a jovial mood jolly suggests high spirits expressed in laughing, bantering, and jesting. our jolly host enlivened the party

Examples of merry in a Sentence

Let's eat, drink, and be merry! They sang a merry little song.

Recent Examples on the Web

Horticulturist extraordinaire Steve Foltz and his botanical band of merry folk have turned what once was just the Cincinnati Zoo into a first-rate botanical garden. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Need summer plant inspiration? Here are 4 beautiful gardens to visit near Louisville," 5 July 2019 There's plenty more Christmas cheer coming our way, so merry watching! Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Hallmark's Christmas In July Movie Schedule Will Have You Jingling All the Way Through Summer," 29 June 2019 With a lineup pulling heavily from the jam and electronic worlds, the festival maintains the loosely merry and community-oriented vibe that's long been fundamental to both scenes. Katie Bain, Billboard, "Electric Forest Founder Jeremy Stein Says Festivals Are Like Families -- Here's How He Maintains His," 27 June 2019 Beth Harris finds the right balance of merry wit and gravity in the part., "Playmakers in Covington presents ‘1776’ with a twist: The cast is mostly women," 26 June 2019 There was a merry rattle of dice and riffle of cards. Paula Allen,, "Olmos Park Terrace club’s visions of grandeur dashed by Depression, fire," 22 June 2019 And always on Fridays, after 8:45 p.m., with his merry band of regulars. Rachel Levin,, "At Tekka, they found owners who offered an old-school haven in a changing city," 10 June 2019 But if a black gay drag queen had no chance at victory, Blakk’s campaign was more than a merry farce. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Ms. Blakk for President,’ a Winning Losing Campaign," 4 June 2019 These were all elements of the merry mayhem backstage at Libertine’s Fall 2019 show, presented at an old-school women’s club in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "B. Åkerlund Not Only Styled Libertine’s Fall 2019 Show—She Documented the Backstage Action Too," 27 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'merry.' 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 merry

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for merry

Middle English mery, from Old English myrge, merge; akin to Old High German murg short — more at brief

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More Definitions for merry



English Language Learners Definition of merry

somewhat old-fashioned
: very happy and cheerful : feeling or showing joy and happiness
: causing joy and happiness


mer·​ry | \ ˈmer-ē How to pronounce merry (audio) \
merrier; merriest

Kids Definition of merry

1 : full of joy and good cheer a merry man
2 : full of festive celebration and enjoyment a merry Christmas

Other Words from merry

merrily \ ˈmer-​ə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on merry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for merry

Spanish Central: Translation of merry

Nglish: Translation of merry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of merry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on merry

What made you want to look up merry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

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