• synonyms


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  1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: She felt the joy of seeing her son's success.
  2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated: Her prose style is a pure joy.
  3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
  4. a state of happiness or felicity.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to feel joy; be glad; rejoice.
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verb (used with object)
  1. Obsolete. to gladden.
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Origin of joy

1175–1225; Middle English joy(e) < Old French joie, joye < Late Latin gaudia, neuter plural (taken as feminine singular) of Latin gaudium joy, equivalent to gaud- (base of gaudēre to be glad) + -ium -ium
Related formsun·joyed, adjective

Synonyms for joy

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1. rapture. 4. bliss. See pleasure.

Antonyms for joy


or Joye

  1. a female given name.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for joy

satisfaction, comfort, humor, glee, delight, elation, cheer, charm, bliss, pride, amusement, wonder, indulgence, alleviation, rapture, jubilance, gladness, gaiety, revelry, sport

Examples from the Web for joy

Contemporary Examples of joy

Historical Examples of joy

  • On the contrary, indeed, he appeared to joy immensely in Percival's way of life.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The tidings were hailed with joy; not only by the young couple, but by all the villagers.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Kiss me, my brother, and let my tears run only from my pride and joy!

  • He was received with joy for the service he had rendered to the Italian people.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • What a joy it was to get away from stuffy courts of justice into the pure Warwickshire air.


    William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for joy


  1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment
  2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness
  3. an outward show of pleasure or delight; rejoicing
  4. British informal success; satisfactionI went to the bank for a loan, but got no joy
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  1. (intr) to feel joy
  2. (tr) obsolete to make joyful; gladden
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Word Origin for joy

C13: from Old French joie, from Latin gaudium joy, from gaudēre to be glad
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 joy


c.1200, "feeling of pleasure and delight;" c.1300, "source of pleasure or happiness," from Old French joie (11c.), from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium "joy," from gaudere "rejoice," from PIE root *gau- "to rejoice" (cf. Greek gaio "I rejoice," Middle Irish guaire "noble"). Joy-riding is American English, 1908.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with joy


see burst with (joy); pride and joy.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.