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jolly

[jol-ee]
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adjective, jol·li·er, jol·li·est.
  1. in good spirits; lively; merry: In a moment he was as jolly as ever.
  2. cheerfully festive or convivial: a jolly party.
  3. joyous; happy: Christmas is a jolly season.
  4. Chiefly British Informal. delightful; charming.
  5. British.
    1. Informal.great; thorough: a jolly blunderer.
    2. Slang.slightly drunk; tipsy.
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verb (used with object), jol·lied, jol·ly·ing.
  1. Informal. to talk or act agreeably to (a person) in order to keep that person in good humor, especially in the hope of gaining something (usually followed by along): They jollied him along until the job was done.
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verb (used without object), jol·lied, jol·ly·ing.
  1. Informal. to jolly a person; josh; kid.
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noun, plural jol·lies.
  1. Informal. the practice or an instance of jollying a person.
  2. Usually jollies. Informal. pleasurable excitement, especially from or as if from something forbidden or improper; thrills; kicks: He gets his jollies from watching horror movies.
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adverb
  1. British Informal. extremely; very: He'll jolly well do as he's told.
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Origin of jolly

1275–1325; Middle English joli, jolif < Old French, equivalent to jol- (probably < Old Norse jōl yule) + -if -ive
Related formsjol·li·ly, adverbjol·li·ness, nounun·jol·ly, adjective

Synonyms

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1–3. glad, spirited, jovial, sportive, playful.

Antonyms

1–3. gloomy, melancholy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jolliness

Historical Examples

  • A holiday's when you all have play and treats and jolliness, all of you together.

    The Story of the Amulet

    E. Nesbit

  • Since last night I've been with these infantry boy-officers who are doing such great work in such a careless spirit of jolliness.

    Carry On

    Coningsby Dawson

  • These new feelings did not affect his general attitude toward life: they merely confirmed his faith in its ultimate "jolliness."

  • The jolliness of the little group communicated itself to the rest of the promenade deck.

    Atlantis

    Gerhart Hauptmann

  • I always thought as adventures was jolly; but that didn't seem to me to have no jolliness about it, not when we was out there.


British Dictionary definitions for jolliness

jolly

adjective -lier or -liest
  1. full of good humour; jovial
  2. having or provoking gaiety and merrymaking; festive
  3. greatly enjoyable; pleasing
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adverb
  1. British (intensifier)you're jolly nice
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verb -lies, -lying or -lied (tr) informal
  1. (often foll by up or along) to try to make or keep (someone) cheerful
  2. to make goodnatured fun of
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noun
  1. informal, mainly British a festivity or celebration
  2. informal, mainly British a trip, esp one made for pleasure by a public official or committee at public expense
  3. British slang a Royal Marine
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Derived Formsjolliness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French jolif, probably from Old Norse jōl yule
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

Word Origin and History for jolliness

n.

late 14c., from jolly + -ness.

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jolly

adj.

c.1300 (late 13c. as a surname), from Old French jolif "festive, merry, amorous, pretty" (12c.) of uncertain origin (cf. Italian giulivo "merry, pleasant").

Perhaps a Germanic loan-word from a source akin to Old Norse jol "a winter feast" (see yule), or from Latin gaudere "to rejoice," from PIE *gau- "to rejoice" (see joy). For loss of -f, cf. tardy, hasty. Related: Jollily; jolliness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper