Synonyms & Antonyms of jolly

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 indicative of or marked by high spirits or good humor
  • an especially jolly crowd of well-wishers at their wedding reception

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2 giving pleasure or contentment to the mind or senses
  • we always have a jolly time at their seaside cottage

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Synonyms & Antonyms of jolly (Entry 2 of 3)

to a great degree
  • I jolly well agree that you did the right thing
  • has become a jolly careful driver since his recent accident

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Synonyms of jolly (Entry 3 of 3)

to make jokes
  • spent their nights around the campfire good-naturedly jollying and telling scary stories

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Frequently Asked Questions About jolly

How does the adjective jolly differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of jolly are blithe, jocund, jovial, and merry. While all these words mean "showing high spirits or lightheartedness," jolly suggests high spirits expressed in laughing, bantering, and jesting.

our jolly host enlivened the party

Where would blithe be a reasonable alternative to jolly?

In some situations, the words blithe and jolly are roughly equivalent. However, blithe suggests carefree, innocent, or even heedless gaiety.

arrived late in his usual blithe way

When is it sensible to use jocund instead of jolly?

Although the words jocund and jolly have much in common, jocund stresses elation and exhilaration of spirits.

singing, dancing, and jocund feasting

When could jovial be used to replace jolly?

The synonyms jovial and jolly are sometimes interchangeable, but jovial suggests the stimulation of conviviality and good fellowship.

dinner put them in a jovial mood

When is merry a more appropriate choice than jolly?

The words merry and jolly are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, merry suggests cheerful, joyous, uninhibited enjoyment of frolic or festivity.

a merry group of revelers

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Time Traveler for jolly

Time Traveler

The first known use of jolly was in the 14th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near jolly



jolly boat

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Cite this Entry

“Jolly.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jolly

Nglish: Translation of jolly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jolly for Arabic Speakers


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