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  1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: She felt the joy of seeing her son's success.
  2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated: Her prose style is a pure joy.
  3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
  4. a state of happiness or felicity.
verb (used without object)
  1. to feel joy; be glad; rejoice.
verb (used with object)
  1. Obsolete. to gladden.

Origin of joy

1175–1225; Middle English joy(e) < Old French joie, joye < Late Latin gaudia, neuter plural (taken as feminine singular) of Latin gaudium joy, equivalent to gaud- (base of gaudēre to be glad) + -ium -ium
Related formsun·joyed, adjective


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1. rapture. 4. bliss. See pleasure.


1. misery, unhappiness, sorrow, grief.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for joyed

Historical Examples

  • He joyed to observe that these men of incredible millions had no hauteur.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • How it would have joyed him to hear the voice of his master, or of any of them!

  • "Since you are wanting a quarrel, I'll give you cause for one," he said, and I joyed to hear him say it.

    Nancy Stair

    Elinor Macartney Lane

  • I do not think you yourself knew how much you joyed in things.

  • As well deny the martyr's sacrifice, because he has joyed in his integrity.

British Dictionary definitions for joyed


  1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment
  2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness
  3. an outward show of pleasure or delight; rejoicing
  4. British informal success; satisfactionI went to the bank for a loan, but got no joy
  1. (intr) to feel joy
  2. (tr) obsolete to make joyful; gladden

Word Origin

C13: from Old French joie, from Latin gaudium joy, from gaudēre to be glad
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 joyed



c.1200, "feeling of pleasure and delight;" c.1300, "source of pleasure or happiness," from Old French joie (11c.), from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium "joy," from gaudere "rejoice," from PIE root *gau- "to rejoice" (cf. Greek gaio "I rejoice," Middle Irish guaire "noble"). Joy-riding is American English, 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with joyed


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.