- full of cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous in disposition or spirit: a merry little man.
- laughingly happy; mirthful; festively joyous; hilarious: a merry time at the party.
- Archaic. causing happiness; pleasant; delightful.
- make merry,
- to be happy or festive: The New Year's revelers were making merry in the ballroom.
- to make fun of; ridicule: The unthinking children made merry of the boy who had no shoes.
Origin of merry
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for merrier
This conversation often bleeds easily into a “the more the merrier” logic followed by some joke about polygamy.Is Polygamy the Next Gay Marriage?
September 12, 2014
For Tonight, the more may be the merrier where changes are concerned.Jay Leno Cries It Out
February 7, 2014
And when it comes to faith, family, and financial success, the more the merrier as far as the GOP is concerned.Forget 2012: Long-Term Demographic Trends Favorable to Republicans
November 28, 2012
I'm not actually annoyed about it, because I really like pizza, and the more pizza, the merrier.Wolfgang's Revolution, at Your Gates
July 28, 2009
Instead, Obama enjoyed a brief flashback and insulted his merrier minions.Obama's Marijuana Buzz Kill
March 30, 2009
Yet all the while, Taffy seemed happier and the women the merrier.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
Toby was quite a new visitor, and, well––the more the merrier.The Twins of Suffering Creek
A merrier set of gentlemen not even my experience had ever beheld.Arthur O'Leary
Charles James Lever
Three happier, merrier girls could not have been found the world over.Highacres
"The merrier the heart the longer the life," says Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy.The English Spy
- cheerful; jolly
- very funny; hilarious
- British informal slightly drunk
- archaic delightful
- make merry to revel; be festive
- play merry hell with informal to disturb greatly; disrupt
Word Origin and History for merrier
Old English myrge "pleasing, agreeable, pleasant, sweet; pleasantly, melodiously," from Proto-Germanic *murgijaz, which probably originally meant "short-lasting," (cf. Old High German murg "short," Gothic gamaurgjan "to shorten"), from PIE *mreghu- "short" (see brief (adj.)). The only exact cognate for meaning outside English was Middle Dutch mergelijc "joyful."
Connection to "pleasure" is likely via notion of "making time fly, that which makes the time seem to pass quickly" (cf. German Kurzweil "pastime," literally "a short time;" Old Norse skemta "to amuse, entertain, amuse oneself," from skamt, neuter of skammr "short"). There also was a verbal form in Old English, myrgan "be merry, rejoice." For vowel evolution, see bury (v.).
Bot vchon enle we wolde were fyf, þe mo þe myryer. [c.1300]
The word had much wider senses in Middle English, e.g. "pleasant-sounding" (of animal voices), "fine" (of weather), "handsome" (of dress), "pleasant-tasting" (of herbs). Merry-bout "an incident of sexual intercourse" was low slang from 1780. Merry-begot "illegitimate" (adj.), "bastard" (n.) is from 1785. Merrie England (now frequently satirical or ironic) is 14c. meri ingland, originally in a broader sense of "bountiful, prosperous." Merry Monday was a 16c. term for "the Monday before Shrove Tuesday" (Mardi Gras).