- in good spirits; lively; merry: In a moment he was as jolly as ever.
- cheerfully festive or convivial: a jolly party.
- joyous; happy: Christmas is a jolly season.
- Chiefly British Informal. delightful; charming.
- Informal.great; thorough: a jolly blunderer.
- Slang.slightly drunk; tipsy.
- Informal. to talk or act agreeably to (a person) in order to keep that person in good humor, especially in the hope of gaining something (usually followed by along): They jollied him along until the job was done.
- Informal. to jolly a person; josh; kid.
- Informal. the practice or an instance of jollying a person.
- Usually jollies. Informal. pleasurable excitement, especially from or as if from something forbidden or improper; thrills; kicks: He gets his jollies from watching horror movies.
- British Informal. extremely; very: He'll jolly well do as he's told.
Origin of jolly
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsradiance, color, brilliance, gladness, cheer, joviality, revelry, sport, glitter, jocundity, jocosity, elation, glee, exhilaration, liveliness, sparkle, animation, revel, lightheartedness, frolic
Examples from the Web for jolliness
A holiday's when you all have play and treats and jolliness, all of you together.The Story of the Amulet
Since last night I've been with these infantry boy-officers who are doing such great work in such a careless spirit of jolliness.Carry On
These new feelings did not affect his general attitude toward life: they merely confirmed his faith in its ultimate "jolliness."The Glimpses of the Moon
The jolliness of the little group communicated itself to the rest of the promenade deck.Atlantis
I always thought as adventures was jolly; but that didn't seem to me to have no jolliness about it, not when we was out there.Sturdy and Strong
G. A. Henty
- full of good humour; jovial
- having or provoking gaiety and merrymaking; festive
- greatly enjoyable; pleasing
- British (intensifier)you're jolly nice
- (often foll by up or along) to try to make or keep (someone) cheerful
- to make goodnatured fun of
- informal, mainly British a festivity or celebration
- informal, mainly British a trip, esp one made for pleasure by a public official or committee at public expense
- British slang a Royal Marine
Word Origin and History for jolliness
c.1300 (late 13c. as a surname), from Old French jolif "festive, merry, amorous, pretty" (12c.) of uncertain origin (cf. Italian giulivo "merry, pleasant").
Perhaps a Germanic loan-word from a source akin to Old Norse jol "a winter feast" (see yule), or from Latin gaudere "to rejoice," from PIE *gau- "to rejoice" (see joy). For loss of -f, cf. tardy, hasty. Related: Jollily; jolliness.