pertaining to or suitable for a feast or festival: festive decorations; a festive meal.
joyous; merry: a festive mood.

Origin of festive

1645–55; < Latin fēstīvus merry, equivalent to fēst(us) festal + -īvus -ive
Related formsfes·tive·ly, adverbfes·tive·ness, nounnon·fes·tive, adjectivenon·fes·tive·ly, adverbnon·fes·tive·ness, nounsub·fes·tive, adjectivesub·fes·tive·ly, adverbsub·fes·tive·ness, nounun·fes·tive, adjectiveun·fes·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for festive

Contemporary Examples of festive

Historical Examples of festive

  • New bonnets had been specially prepared for this festive occasion.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • Tama keeps the guard and seals to wear on festive occasions.

  • Here am I in festive array, and no man can be more ready for the promised banquet.



  • These the captain decided should be placed in the center of the festive board.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Only, a fellow never can tell where he stands with most of these festive dames.


    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for festive



appropriate to or characteristic of a holiday, etc; merry
Derived Formsfestively, adverbfestiveness, noun

Word Origin for festive

C17: from Latin festīvus joyful, from festus of a feast
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 festive

1650s, "pertaining to a feast," from Latin festivus "festive, joyous, gay," from festum "festival, holiday," noun use of neuter of adjective festus (see feast (n.)).

Meaning "mirthful" is attested by 1774. Unattested from 1651 to 1735; modern use may be a back-formation from festivity. Related: Festively; festiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper