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or gayety

[gey-i-tee] /ˈgeɪ ɪ ti/
noun, plural gaieties.
the state of being joyous, vivacious, or cheerful.
Often, gaieties. merrymaking or festivity:
the gaieties of the New Year season.
showiness; finery:
gaiety of dress.
Origin of gaiety
1625-35; < French gaieté, equivalent to gai gay + -té -ty2
Related forms
supergaiety, noun
1. merriment, mirth, glee, jollity, joyousness, liveliness, sportiveness, hilarity, vivacity, cheerfulness, joviality. 3. brilliance, glitter, flashiness, gaudiness.
1. sadness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gaiety
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Then they'll have to prove it to me," she corrected, her gaiety now a trifle forced.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Lady Glenthorn and her set were dancing, and I was tired of these sounds of gaiety.

  • Indeed she chid Margaret for her lack of gaiety upon such an occasion.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • The place is something like the gaiety Theatre at Simla, enlarged twenty times.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • There was a large amount of gaiety in the old villages in those days.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • All this gave me something else to think about, and I soon recovered my gaiety.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • I assure you, my dear sir, that in our unpretending home her gaiety is delightful.'

  • The gaiety prevailing in that little corner rejoiced the sight.

  • All its gaiety consists in an occasional tree in a courtyard.

British Dictionary definitions for gaiety


noun (pl) -ties
the state or condition of being merry, bright, or lively
festivity; merrymaking
Also (esp US) gayety
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 gaiety

1630s, from French gaieté, from gai "gay" (see gay). In the 1890s, especially with reference to a London theater of that name, and the kind of musical shows and dancing girls found there.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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