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

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 The very merry company Grandin Road—the same purveyor of the mammoth baubles—is also behind this larger-than-life decoration. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "This Giant Ornament Punch Bowl Is Serving Up Major Christmas Cheer," 27 Oct. 2018 Should your best friend, cousin, or co-worker receive a ring, there’s all the more reason to eat, drink, and be merry. Vogue, "Get Ahead of the Registry: 20 Gift Ideas for Your Newly Engaged Friend," 16 Nov. 2018 In the lead-up to the holidays, a row of overflowing stockings is a merry harbinger of the generosity to come, building anticipation as the big day grows near. Vogue, "Day 8: Stuff Your Stockings With Care," 12 Nov. 2018 With present ideas, gift wrapping essentials, classic decorations, and very merry kitchenwares—all in her signature rustic-chic style—your house and family will undoubtedly be the hit of the holiday party. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines Just Dropped the Cutest Christmas Collection for Pets at Target," 4 Dec. 2018 Instead of a band of merry travelers on an adventure, playing in a team feels more like having someone to split your daily chores with. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess," 28 Nov. 2018 This money merry-go-round might have helped Evergrande get this bond issue away, but there will be other hurdles to leap soon. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "This Chinese Bond Deal Should Give Investors the Shivers," 31 Oct. 2018

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).


to take the place or position of

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