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
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Examples from the Web for festively

Historical Examples of festively

British Dictionary definitions for festively


  1. 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 festively



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