full of cheer; in good spirits: a cheerful person.
promoting or inducing cheer; pleasant; bright: cheerful surroundings.
characterized by or expressive of good spirits or cheerfulness: cheerful songs.
hearty or ungrudging: cheerful giving.

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

Synonyms for cheerful

Antonyms for cheerful Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cheerful

Contemporary Examples of cheerful

Historical Examples of cheerful

  • "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



having a happy disposition; in good spirits
pleasantly bright; gladdeninga cheerful room
hearty; ungrudging; enthusiasticcheerful help
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper