[ joh-vee-uhl ]
See synonyms for: jovialjovially on

  1. endowed with or characterized by a hearty, joyous humor or a spirit of good-fellowship: a wonderfully jovial host.

  2. (initial capital letter) of or relating to the god Jove, or Jupiter.

Origin of jovial

First recorded in 1580–90; from Medieval Latin joviālis “of Jupiter” (the planet, supposed to exert a happy influence), equivalent to Latin jovi- (see Jovian) + -ālis -al1

synonym study For jovial

1. Jovial, jocose, jocular, jocund agree in referring to someone who is in a good humor. Jovial suggests a hearty, joyous humor: a jovial person. Jocose refers to that which causes laughter; it suggests someone who is playful and given to jesting: with jocose and comical airs. Jocular means humorous, facetious, mirthful, and waggish: jocular enough to keep up the spirits of all around him. Jocund, now a literary word, suggests a cheerful, light-hearted, and sprightly gaiety: glad and jocund company.

Other words for jovial

Opposites for jovial

Other words from jovial

  • jo·vi·al·ly, adverb
  • jo·vi·al·ness, noun
  • un·jo·vi·al, adjective
  • un·jo·vi·al·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with jovial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use jovial in a sentence

  • It was his familiar flourish, an old story to Bibbs, and now jovially declaimed for the edification of Mary Vertrees.

    The Turmoil | Booth Tarkington
  • My wife will be some surprised, I bet, and he laughed jovially.

British Dictionary definitions for jovial


/ (ˈdʒəʊvɪəl) /

  1. having or expressing convivial humour; jolly

Origin of jovial

C16: from Latin joviālis of (the planet) Jupiter, considered by astrologers to foster good humour

Derived forms of jovial

  • joviality or jovialness, noun
  • jovially, adverb

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