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 All looks merry and bright until a possible promotion to a job in London clouds the picture. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lifetime channel unveils airdate, cast for its first LGBT Christmas romance movie, which is set in Milwaukee," 17 Sep. 2020 Consider the merry middle finger salutes to 2020 at Felíz Modern. René A. Guzman,, "San Antonio artists make light of 2020 with miniature dumpster fires and other works," 10 Sep. 2020 Collectively, economists say, 60 to 70 percent of families here are now regularly receiving some dollars — buying even some Venezuelans of more modest means a merrier Christmas this year. Washington Post, "A fake Walmart, cases of Dom Pérignon and the almighty dollar. Inside socialist Venezuela’s chaotic embrace of the free market.," 25 Dec. 2019 But if, by chance, any of these takeaways generate a merrier Christmas for someone in your household, well, that will be a gift all by itself. 10. Tim Carman, Houston Chronicle, "The 10 greatest food scenes from holiday movies and what they really mean," 24 Dec. 2019 And current Jets Bell and assistant Hines Ward will have a very merry Christmas at their former club's expense. 23. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from Week 16 of the 2019 NFL season," 23 Dec. 2019 With so many talented people involved in the reboot, 2020 is set to be a merry Christmas for all of us filthy animals. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Here’s Who’s in the Disney+ Home Alone Reboot," 11 Dec. 2019 The too-fun-to-miss December attraction at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace celebrates the idea that our merry little Christmas has actually grown up to be our fabulous, super-sized Xmas. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Camp Christmas is a daring work of interactive holiday art," 29 Nov. 2019 In response the plague literature exploits that joke, and often partakes of tropes from a late-Medieval French painting style, danse macabre, in which ominously merry skeletons dance people to their graves. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "The Literature of Plagues Gives Us Words to Live By," 21 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for merry

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for merry

Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Merry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for merry


How to pronounce merry (audio)

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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