mer·​ry ˈmer-ē How to pronounce merry (audio)
merrier; merriest
: full of gaiety or high spirits : mirthful
eat, drink, and be merry
: marked by festivity or gaiety
a merry holiday time
: quick, brisk
a merry pace
archaic : giving pleasure : delightful
ˈmer-ə-lē How to pronounce merry (audio)
ˈmer-ē-nəs How to pronounce merry (audio)
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 What the game really does is provide stakes and a tight deadline for Imogene and her merry band of amateur sleuths — Leila, Teddy, Jules, and Sunil — to figure out who the hell Viktor Sams is. Maggie Fremont, Vulture, 5 Mar. 2024 Healdsburg’s Jordan Vineyard & Winery is known for its wines, its excellent culinary programs and its merry focus on the joy of picnicking. John Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 2 June 2024 Jurors will hear closing arguments today in his 34-count felony trial, then make their merry way into deliberations. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2024 The ride will also feature a brand-new merry band of musical critters. Carly Caramanna, Travel + Leisure, 13 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for merry 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'merry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near merry

Cite this Entry

“Merry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


mer·​ry ˈmer-ē How to pronounce merry (audio)
merrier; merriest
: full of good humor and good spirits : mirthful
: marked by gaiety or festivity
a merry Christmas
merrily adverb
merriness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on merry

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