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90s Slang You Should Know


[joh-vee-uh l] /ˈdʒoʊ vi əl/
endowed with or characterized by a hearty, joyous humor or a spirit of good-fellowship:
a wonderfully jovial host.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to the god Jove, or Jupiter.
Origin of jovial
1580-90; < Medieval Latin joviālis of Jupiter (the planet, supposed to exert a happy influence), equivalent to Latin jovi- (see Jovian) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
jovially, adverb
jovialness, noun
unjovial, adjective
unjovially, adverb
Can be confused
jocose, jocular, jocund, jovial (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. merry, jolly, convivial, gay, joyful, mirthful. Jovial, jocose, jocular, jocund agree in referring to someone who is in a good humor. Jovial suggests a hearty, joyous humor: a jovial person. Jocose refers to that which causes laughter; it suggests someone who is playful and given to jesting: with jocose and comical airs. Jocular means humorous, facetious, mirthful, and waggish: jocular enough to keep up the spirits of all around him. Jocund, now a literary word, suggests a cheerful, light-hearted, and sprightly gaiety: glad and jocund company.
1. gloomy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jovially
Historical Examples
  • And there he was, jovially perspiring; he saw her between crowded heads, and crushed through to her side.

    In the Year of Jubilee George Gissing
  • "For that—there are not wanting brooms in the house," said Cristobal jovially.

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • In the good old days the drunken dwarf would have been jovially tossed from hand to hand.

    Memoirs of a Midget Walter de la Mare
  • “I reckon you can get to Ridgeton on this here,” he said jovially.

    Ruth Fielding Down East Alice B. Emerson
  • With a wink, he cautiously removed my revolver from my fingers, and slapped me jovially on the shoulder.

    Captain Macklin Richard Harding Davis
  • He was already entering into particulars when Beauchene jovially interrupted him.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • He blew a kiss to the lighthouse, that tall friend who had winked at him so jovially night after night.

  • Ribiera chaffed him jovially on the way to the flying field.

  • Hall greeted him jovially enough, but Gorman and Watson scowled as they grunted curt good mornings.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
  • "We're stuck," said Johnny, jovially, as he caught sight of me.

    On the Stairs Henry B. Fuller
British Dictionary definitions for jovially


having or expressing convivial humour; jolly
Derived Forms
joviality, jovialness, noun
jovially, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin joviālis of (the planet) Jupiter, considered by astrologers to foster good humour
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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Contemporary definitions for jovially

pertaining to Jove or Jupiter

Word Origin

Latin jovialis 'pertaining to Jove, Jupiter''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for jovially



1580s, "under the influence of the planet Jupiter," from Middle French jovial (16c.), from Italian joviale, literally "pertaining to Jupiter," and directly from Latin Iovialis "of Jupiter," from Iovius (used as genitive of Iuppiter) "Jupiter," Roman god of the sky (see Jove). The meaning "good-humored, merry," is from astrological belief that those born under the sign of the planet Jupiter are of such dispositions. Related: Jovially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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