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 cheerfulness

Contemporary Examples of cheerfulness

Historical Examples of cheerfulness

  • Percival was being forced to cheerfulness in spite of himself.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "Let us hope so," said the captain, recovering his cheerfulness.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Till then we must submit with what fortitude and cheerfulness we may.

  • But she had not so much share in her own cheerfulness as her poor aunts had in their misery.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • But a touch of cheerfulness appeared in his tones as he proceeded.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for cheerfulness



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 cheerfulness



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