• synonyms


[mer-ee-muhnt, mer-i‐]
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  1. cheerful or joyful gaiety; mirth; hilarity; laughter.
  2. Obsolete. a cause of mirth; a jest, entertainment, etc.
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Origin of merriment

First recorded in 1570–80; merry + -ment
Related formso·ver·mer·ri·ment, noun


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1. See mirth.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for merriment

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In the burst of merriment, his pent feelings found their vent.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The father and mother made their appearance, and the merriment began.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • But there was no trace of merriment or perplexity in the way he looked at Mr Verloc.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • There was no merriment, but there was a kindly look on every face that was beautiful to see.

  • Her eyes were dancing with that merriment she could never long restrain.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for merriment


  1. gaiety, fun, or mirth
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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 merriment


1570s, "comedic entertainment," from merry + -ment. General sense of "mirth" is from 1580s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper