• synonyms


[cheer-fuh l]
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  1. full of cheer; in good spirits: a cheerful person.
  2. promoting or inducing cheer; pleasant; bright: cheerful surroundings.
  3. characterized by or expressive of good spirits or cheerfulness: cheerful songs.
  4. hearty or ungrudging: cheerful giving.
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Origin of cheerful

First recorded in 1400–50, cheerful is from the late Middle English word cherfull. See cheer, -ful
Related formscheer·ful·ly, adverbcheer·ful·ness, nounqua·si-cheer·ful, adjectivequa·si-cheer·ful·ly, adverbun·cheer·ful, adjectiveun·cheer·ful·ly, adverbun·cheer·ful·ness, noun


See more synonyms for cheerful on Thesaurus.com
1. cheery, gay, blithe, happy, joyful, joyous, buoyant, sunny, jolly. 4. generous.


1. miserable. 4. grudging.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cheerful

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "If you still love Paralus, I wonder you can be so quiet and cheerful," said Eudora.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • At the moment she saw him cheerful, and her love looked upon him as good.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • He was determined to make the occasion, if he could, a cheerful one.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Chicago Red grinned with cheerful acceptance of the issue in such an encounter.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • From the kitchen came the dump of an iron, and cheerful singing.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for cheerful


  1. having a happy disposition; in good spirits
  2. pleasantly bright; gladdeninga cheerful room
  3. hearty; ungrudging; enthusiasticcheerful help
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Derived Formscheerfully, adverbcheerfulness, noun
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 cheerful


c.1400, "full of cheer," from cheer (n.) + -ful. Meaning "elevating the spirits" is from mid-15c. Related: Cheerfully; cheerfulness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper