gai·​ety ˈgā-ə-tē How to pronounce gaiety (audio)
variants or less commonly gayety
plural gaieties
: merrymaking
also : festive activity
often used in plural
: high spirits : merriment

Example Sentences

The party had none of the gaiety we've seen in past years. the gaiety of the carnival
Recent Examples on the Web There was the wild charm of the koans and tales, which were celebrated for their gaiety and refusal of normal hierarchies, but there was also the lifetime of discipline—including regular beatings from the boss—that gave point to the parables. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 7 Nov. 2022 Washington adds a sheen of brashly confident gaiety to Harold’s sombre composure. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2022 In spite of the temperature, a festal gaiety was rising. Kent Russell, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 His tall, broad-shouldered hunchback stomps around the court in the multi-colored motley teasing his master and his henchmen with seeming good-natured gaiety. Bill Hirschman,, 14 Mar. 2022 Television put her very American appeal on full display: her charm, her gaiety. Mayukh Sen, The Atlantic, 16 Nov. 2021 There is no place, not even India, where the use of color produces as beguiling a mixture of gaiety and melancholy as Mexico. New York Times, 11 Nov. 2021 There is something heroic in the desperate gaiety with which Crane and Cora insisted on living well until the end. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2021 Yes, an adornment to society, a man who added to the gaiety of life. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 26 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gaiety.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


earlier, "cheerfulness," borrowed from Middle French gayeté, going back to Old French, from gai gay entry 1 + -eté -ity

First Known Use

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gaiety was in 1634

Dictionary Entries Near gaiety

Cite this Entry

“Gaiety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



variants also gayety
plural gaieties
: high spirits

More from Merriam-Webster on gaiety

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.