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[fes-tiv] /ˈfɛs tɪv/
pertaining to or suitable for a feast or festival:
festive decorations; a festive meal.
joyous; merry:
a festive mood.
Origin of festive
1645-55; < Latin fēstīvus merry, equivalent to fēst(us) festal + -īvus -ive
Related forms
festively, adverb
festiveness, noun
nonfestive, adjective
nonfestively, adverb
nonfestiveness, noun
subfestive, adjective
subfestively, adverb
subfestiveness, noun
unfestive, adjective
unfestively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for festive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • New bonnets had been specially prepared for this festive occasion.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • Tama keeps the guard and seals to wear on festive occasions.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • Here am I in festive array, and no man can be more ready for the promised banquet.

    Timaeus Plato
  • These the captain decided should be placed in the center of the festive board.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Only, a fellow never can tell where he stands with most of these festive dames.

    Nobody Louis Joseph Vance
British Dictionary definitions for festive


appropriate to or characteristic of a holiday, etc; merry
Derived Forms
festively, adverb
festiveness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin festīvus joyful, from festus of a feast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for festive

1650s, "pertaining to a feast," from Latin festivus "festive, joyous, gay," from festum "festival, holiday," noun use of neuter of adjective festus (see feast (n.)).

Meaning "mirthful" is attested by 1774. Unattested from 1651 to 1735; modern use may be a back-formation from festivity. Related: Festively; festiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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