mirth·​less ˈmərth-ləs How to pronounce mirthless (audio)
: containing no gaiety or joy
A vague mirthless grin contracted Liff Hyatt's face …Edith Wharton
Voldemort turned his scarlet eyes upon Harry, laughing a high, cold, mirthless laugh.J. K. Rowling
mirthlessly adverb
mirthlessness noun

Examples of mirthless in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The conversation plays out in full and without commentary: The irony of having to humor the advances of one man to prove those of another is plain and startling, though Ito, long hardened to such cruelties, also finds dry, mirthless humor in them. Guy Lodge, Variety, 26 Jan. 2024 Cline writes in a sleek, cool style that conveys both Alex’s naivete and her mirthless irony. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 9 May 2023 Hers is a Njinga that can make an enemy’s blood run cold with a mirthless smile or disarm a would-be lover with her sensuality — or move us to tenderness with shows of vulnerability. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2023 Standing above the ruin, Goss gave a short and mirthless laugh. Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mirthless.' 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 myrtheles, from myrthe mirth + -les -less

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mirthless was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near mirthless

Cite this Entry

“Mirthless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mirthless. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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