[glee-fuh l]


full of exultant joy; merry; delighted.

Origin of gleeful

First recorded in 1580–90; glee1 + -ful
Related formsglee·ful·ly, adverbglee·ful·ness, nounun·glee·ful, adjectiveun·glee·ful·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gleeful

Contemporary Examples of gleeful

Historical Examples of gleeful

  • In the dance she was the nimblest, in mirth the most gleeful, and in beauty peerless.

  • "No, indeed," returned Dr. Sheepshanks, with a gleeful laugh.

    Funny Big Socks

    Sarah L. Barrow

  • She gave a gleeful chuckle as she recognized a dear, familiar script.

    Grace Harlowe's Golden Summer

    Jessie Graham Flower

  • "I'll bring her to you in a jiffy;" and the gleeful doctor departed on his errand.


    Effie Afton

  • From wondering sobriety Jewel's lips broke into a gleeful smile.


    Clara Louise Burnham

British Dictionary definitions for gleeful



full of glee; merry
Derived Formsgleefully, adverbgleefulness, 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 gleeful

1580s, from glee + -ful. Related: Gleefully. Alternative gleesome attested from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper