adjective mer·ry \ ˈmer-ē , ˈme-rē \
Updated on: 11 Jan 2018

Definition of merry

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


play \ˈmer-ə-lē, ˈme-rə-\ adverb


play \ˈmer-ē-nəs, ˈme-rē-\ noun

Examples of merry in a Sentence

  1. Let's eat, drink, and be merry!

  2. They sang a merry little song.

Recent Examples of merry from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of merry

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

merry Synonyms

blithesome, festive, gay, gleeful, jocose, jocular, jocund, jolly, jovial, laughing, mirthful, sunny
Related Words
amused, beaming, chuckling, giggling, smiling; bright, buoyant, carefree, cheerful, cheery, chipper, lighthearted, lightsome, upbeat; animated, bouncing, frisky, jaunty, lively, peppy, perky, spirited, sprightful, sprightly, vivacious, zippy; blessed (also blest), blissful, delighted, ecstatic, elated, enraptured, entranced, euphoric, exhilarated, exuberant, exultant, gladsome, happy, high, joyful, joyous, jubilant, overjoyed, radiant, rapturous, ravished, thrilled, tickled; amusing, facetious, flippant, frolicsome, funny, hilarious, jesting, joking, joshing, playful, sportive, witty; cavalier, devil-may-care, easygoing, happy-go-lucky, insouciant, unconcerned; hopeful, optimistic, rosy, sanguine; antic, comic, comical, farcical, humorous, riotous, sidesplitting, uproarious
Near Antonyms
abject, aggrieved, anguished, blue, brokenhearted, crestfallen, dejected, depressed, despondent, disconsolate, disheartened, dispirited, downcast, downhearted, forlorn, glum, heartbroken, heartsick, heavyhearted, low-spirited, melancholy, sad, saddened, sorrowful, unhappy; crying, groaning, moaning, sobbing, wailing, weeping; discontented, disgruntled, moody; doleful, dolorous, joyless, lachrymose, lugubrious, mournful, plaintive, sorry, woeful; black, bleak, cheerless, comfortless, dark, depressing, desolate, dismal, dreary, gloomy, glum, gray (also grey), morose, saturnine, somber (or sombre), sullen; miserable, woebegone, wretched; dull, lethargic, listless, sluggish, torpid

Synonym Discussion of 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

MERRY Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of merry for English Language Learners

  • : very happy and cheerful : feeling or showing joy and happiness

  • : causing joy and happiness

MERRY Defined for Kids


adjective mer·ry \ ˈmer-ē \

Definition of merry for Students

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


\ˈmer-ə-lē\ adverb

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to lessen the seriousness or strength of

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