fe·​lic·​i·​ty | \ fi-ˈli-sə-tē How to pronounce felicity (audio) \
plural felicities

Definition of felicity

1a : the quality or state of being happy especially : great happiness marital felicity
b : an instance of happiness
2 : something that causes happiness … the small felicities and absurdities of real life manage to peek through the gloom.— A. O. Scott
3 : a pleasing manner or quality especially in art or language a felicity with words The curve of her mouth gives her a Mona Lisa smile, but that's just a felicity of her anatomy.— Diane Ackerman
4 : an apt expression The poet was well known for his felicities.

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Examples of felicity in a Sentence

I've always admired his felicity with words. told his friends that marriage had brought him a felicity that he had never known before
Recent Examples on the Web The felicity that defines Lizzo’s style is something everyone could use. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 24 Sep. 2020 The downside of such rampant felicity is its aptitude to push up on anything that moves. New York Times, 23 Apr. 2020 Even moviegoers who typically care little for production design went nuts for the visual felicities of Wes Anderson’s masterwork. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, 10 Oct. 2019 The power of the book comes not from Atwood’s inspired flights of fancy or felicities of style but from her deliberate subjugation of imagination to demonstrable fact. Michael Schaub, Los Angeles Times, 12 Aug. 2019 Duggar fans on Twitter are loving the baby's name, too: jinger duggar named her baby felicity & honestly i’m obsessed. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, 20 July 2018 Other highlights were aided by City Center’s distinct stage-to-audience configuration, bringing Balanchine’s choreographic felicities into fine focus. Robert Greksovic, WSJ, 7 Nov. 2018 When a graduate student can still depend on a departmental stipend, or institutional fellowship of some sort, the felicities of academia are easier to appreciate in the midst of the adversities. Rachel Vorona Cote, The New Republic, 1 May 2018 As their romance develops, the sensitivity and insight with which Johnson treats Andrea’s bewilderment and shame at betraying not just her identity but her people — lesbians as a community — are among this novel’s many felicities. Christine Sneed, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'felicity.' 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 felicity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for felicity

Middle English felicite, from Anglo-French felicité, from Latin felicitat-, felicitas, from felic-, felix fruitful, happy — more at feminine

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

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Cite this Entry

“Felicity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/felicity. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of felicity

: great happiness
: something that is pleasing and well chosen
: a talent for speaking or writing in a very effective way


fe·​lic·​i·​ty | \ fə-ˈli-sə-tē How to pronounce felicity (audio) \

Kids Definition of felicity

: great happiness

More from Merriam-Webster on felicity

Nglish: Translation of felicity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of felicity for Arabic Speakers


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