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

Examples of gaiety in a Sentence

The party had none of the gaiety we've seen in past years. the gaiety of the carnival
Recent Examples on the Web The energy and gaiety of Boston’s annual LGBTQ+ Pride parade returned to Back Bay and South End streets Saturday, as marchers clad in rainbow tutus, mesh crop tops, and myriad styles and colors of body glitter sashayed through the city for the first time since 2019. Jeremy C. Fox,, 10 June 2023 Where the drops are sparse in detail, the frame delivers in an undeniable elegance and gaiety. Astrid Kayembe, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2023 My peace of mind and my gaiety will be gone for ever. Audrey Wollen, The New Yorker, 3 Jan. 2023 But even that is done with gaiety. John Sharp |, al, 13 Feb. 2023 There was another moment of almost gaiety. Graham Swift, The New Yorker, 14 Nov. 2022 Fraternité and gaiety had gone, with the songs. The Economist, 20 June 2020 Day for Night’s gaiety battles Adele H.’s madness, ending with a philosophical yearning that rivals The Wild Child’s. Armond White, National Review, 24 Feb. 2023 The film begins with Deren bearing a skein of yarn and, with forced gaiety, recruiting Christiani for its winding (as Nin looms in the background). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 16 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gaiety.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also gayety
plural gaieties
: high spirits

More from Merriam-Webster on gaiety

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