mer·​ry | \ˈmer-ē, ˈme-rē\
merrier; merriest

Definition of merry 

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

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Other Words from merry

merrily \ ˈmer-​ə-​lē , ˈme-​rə-​ \ adverb
merriness \ ˈmer-​ē-​nəs , 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

Target card holders get special early access to a portion of the holiday items, which include matching family Christmas pajamas, adorable stockings, and a few other merry pieces. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Shop Chip and Joanna Gaines’ New Target Christmas Collection Before Everyone Else," 29 Oct. 2018 His replacement up front could be new signing Olivier Giroud, who joined the Blues from London rivals Arsenal in a transfer deadline day merry-go round., "Antonio Conte Has No Clue How Long Alvaro Morata Will Be Out," 9 Feb. 2018 So, the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, blasting the Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his merry band of Democratic donors. Fox News, "Senate fight awaits Trump's Supreme Court pick," 10 July 2018 Becca humors him long enough to get through dinner before sending him on his merry way. Aurelie Corinthios,, "Bachelorette Becca Kufrin Feels Like She's 'Back in 6th Grade' During 'Petty' Two-on-One Date," 25 June 2018 Miller Park is rocking thanks to Jesus Aguilar and his merry band of no-name Brewers. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: The evidence is in and America’s Dairyland is the best sporting state in the nation," 7 July 2018 Unfortunately for José Pékerman and the rest of Columbia’s merry band of players, a hand ball turned into a penalty kick forced Columbia to play with only 10 men. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "No One Is More Enthusiastic About Japan's World Cup Victory Than This Emotional Player," 19 June 2018 To be among the merry band of thousands of people marching along Fifth Avenue on that hot summer Sunday 41 years ago was unforgettable. Kevin Riordan,, "A half-century struggle paved the way from Woodbury Heights to Philly's LGBTQ Pride parade," 18 June 2018 Barcelona will go on their merry way to an unbeaten season, and Madrid perhaps to a 13th European title. Juan Pimiento,, "Barcelona escape a hostile Clasico, the Fire fall short at home and the best of the soccer weekend," 6 May 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 1

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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Statistics for merry

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for merry

The first known use of merry was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for merry



English Language Learners Definition of merry

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

: causing joy and happiness


mer·​ry | \ˈmer-ē \
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).


by force of circumstances

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