: gladness or gaiety as shown by or accompanied with laughter
His clumsy attempt at dancing caused much mirth.
mirthful adjective
mirthfully adverb
mirthfulness noun

Examples of mirth in a Sentence

Her clumsy attempt to cut the cake was the cause of much mirth. as charming as your mutual mirth is, could you refrain from nudging each other and giggling during class?
Recent Examples on the Web But isn’t acting often as much about mirth as methodology? M.d. Rodrigues, New York Times, 7 Feb. 2024 The incisive playwright cloaks these existential musings amid laugh-a-minute sitcom style banter that had the audience roaring on opening night but there’s meaning amid the mirth. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, 2 Feb. 2024 Listen to each proclamation of mirth and melancholy, love and hate. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2024 Aunt Harry dug her hard brown fingers into Mrs. Klein’s chubby pink wrists and shook her face with a strange mirth, as though the Holy Ghost had touched her. Michelle Orange, Harper's Magazine, 12 Dec. 2023 By activating the neural pathways of emotions such as joy and mirth, laughter can improve your mood and make your physical and emotional response to stress less intense. Janet M. Gibson, CNN, 1 Apr. 2023 Advertisement Apparently, all of that grease paint can mask their mirth, leaving some people apprehensive. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Dec. 2023 Roughly a year after BMW caused widespread outrage/mirth by starting to charge customers in some markets $18 a month to warm their posteriors, the German automaker has done a U-turn. Bydavid Meyer, Fortune, 11 Sep. 2023 The camera feasted on her long, elegant features and an expression that could combine aloofness and mirth. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mirth.' 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, from Old English myrgth, from myrge merry — more at merry

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near mirth

Cite this Entry

“Mirth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mirth. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: gaiety accompanied by laughter

More from Merriam-Webster on mirth

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