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[glad] /glæd/
adjective, gladder, gladdest.
feeling joy or pleasure; delighted; pleased:
glad about the good news; glad that you are here.
accompanied by or causing joy or pleasure:
a glad occasion; glad tidings.
characterized by or showing cheerfulness, joy, or pleasure, as looks or utterances.
very willing:
I'll be glad to give him your message.
verb (used with object), gladded, gladding.
Archaic. to make glad.
Origin of glad1
before 900; Middle English; Old English glæd; cognate with Old Norse glathr bright, glad, Dutch glad, German glatt smooth; akin to Latin glaber smooth
Related forms
gladly, adverb
gladness, noun
1. elated, gratified, contented. 3. merry, joyous, joyful, cheerful, happy, cheery.
1–3. sad. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gladness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This has been such a sweet, happy wedding that we mustn't spoil its gladness.

  • The little squirrel had squeaked his gladness, and, tail erect, had darted into the grass.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • She was good, and she had been anointed with the oil of gladness.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Anshar looked upon him and his heart was filled with gladness.

  • All the gladness seemed to have been taken out of the homecoming.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • Her ingenuous innocence did not conceal her gladness at seeing me!

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Every spring-fountain of gladness about us is his making and his delight.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • We poured out of school with the gladness of a holiday in our hearts.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • Sad recollections of all that had been, of sorrow or gladness.

    Poems William D. Howells
British Dictionary definitions for gladness


adjective gladder, gladdest
happy and pleased; contented
causing happiness or contentment
(postpositive) foll by to. very willing: he was glad to help
(postpositive) foll by of. happy or pleased to have: glad of her help
verb glads, gladding, gladded
an archaic word for gladden
Derived Forms
gladly, adverb
gladness, noun
Word Origin
Old English glǣd; related to Old Norse glathr, Old High German glat smooth, shining, Latin glaber smooth, Lithuanian glodùs fitting closely


(informal) short for gladiolus Also called (Austral) gladdie (ˈɡlædɪ)
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 gladness

Old English glædnes; see glad + -ness.



Old English glæd "bright, shining, joyous," from Proto-Germanic *glada- (cf. Old Norse glaðr "smooth, bright, glad," Danish glad "glad, joyful," Old Saxon gladmod "glad," Old Frisian gled "smooth," Dutch glad "slippery," German glatt "smooth"), from PIE *ghel- "to shine" (see glass). The modern sense is much weakened. Slang glad rags "one's best clothes" first recorded 1902.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with gladness
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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