- gaiety or jollity, especially when accompanied by laughter: the excitement and mirth of the holiday season.
- amusement or laughter: He was unable to conceal his mirth.
Origin of mirth
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. Mirth, glee, hilarity, merriment, jollity, joviality refer to the gaiety characterizing people who are enjoying the companionship of others. Mirth suggests spontaneous amusement or gaiety, manifested briefly in laughter: uncontrolled outbursts of mirth. Glee suggests an effervescence of high spirits or exultation, often manifested in playful or ecstatic gestures; it may apply also to a malicious rejoicing over mishaps to others: glee over the failure of a rival. Hilarity implies noisy and boisterous mirth, often exceeding the limits of reason or propriety: hilarity aroused by practical jokes. Merriment suggests fun, good spirits, and good nature rather than the kind of wit and sometimes artificial funmaking that cause hilarity: The house resounded with music and sounds of merriment. Jollity and joviality may refer either to a general atmosphere of mirthful festivity or to the corresponding traits of individuals. Jollity implies an atmosphere of easy and convivial gaiety, a more hearty merriment or a less boisterous hilarity: The holiday was a time of jollity. Joviality implies a more mellow merriment generated by people who are hearty, generous, benevolent, and high-spirited: the joviality of warm-hearted friends.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for mirthless
You know," he says with a mirthless chuckle, "they beat me up pretty good.Harold Ford's Perpetual Campaign
Lloyd Grove, Samuel P. Jacobs
September 13, 2010
It was a harsh, mirthless laugh, which was equally an insult.The Golden Woman
“Well, I know it,” said Rathburn with a low, mirthless laugh.The Coyote
A quiet and mirthless chuckle was heard in the pause of shocked silence.The Rescue
A mirthless voice, with an intention of mirth in it, said, 'Look out!Despair's Last Journey
David Christie Murray
When the Prodigal expostulated with me I laughed—a bitter, mirthless laugh.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
- laughter, gaiety, or merriment
Old English myrgth; compare merry
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 mirthless
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper