adjective, mer·ri·er, mer·ri·est.
- merritt island,
- merry dancers,
- merry man,
- merry men,
- merry mount,
- merry widow
- to be happy or festive: The New Year's revelers were making merry in the ballroom.
- to make fun of; ridicule: The unthinking children made merry of the boy who had no shoes.
Origin of merry
Examples from the Web for merry
Because we all grew up initially thinking it was “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.”
Bohac said the bill does not require anyone to say “Merry Christmas” if they are not up for it.
But asked if he would say “Merry Christmas” to someone who he knew did not celebrate the holiday, he paused for several seconds.
Deck your halls instead with boughs of holly, shouting “Merry Christmas” (or “Happy Hanukkah”) well into the night.
In his last tweet, he wished his followers a “Merry Christmas.”
The sound of merry voices and laughing came from within, and his first hesitating knock was unanswered.Tom Brown's School Days|Thomas Hughes
I can't be merry so near any splenetic talk; so I made that long line, and now all's well again.The Journal to Stella|Jonathan Swift
He was no less delighted to see the boys than Aunt Lucy had been, and the meal was a merry one.The Golden Boys and Their New Electric Cell|L. P. Wyman
Now stretch out in line, my merry ones, with arrow on string, and I shall show you such sport as only the King can give.The White Company|Arthur Conan Doyle
His “Merry Christmas” to Mrs. Purtett was followed up by a ravished kiss and the gift of a silver butter-knife.
adjective -rier or -riest
Word Origin for merry
Old English myrge "pleasing, agreeable, pleasant, sweet; pleasantly, melodiously," from Proto-Germanic *murgijaz, which probably originally meant "short-lasting," (cf. Old High German murg "short," Gothic gamaurgjan "to shorten"), from PIE *mreghu- "short" (see brief (adj.)). The only exact cognate for meaning outside English was Middle Dutch mergelijc "joyful."
Connection to "pleasure" is likely via notion of "making time fly, that which makes the time seem to pass quickly" (cf. German Kurzweil "pastime," literally "a short time;" Old Norse skemta "to amuse, entertain, amuse oneself," from skamt, neuter of skammr "short"). There also was a verbal form in Old English, myrgan "be merry, rejoice." For vowel evolution, see bury (v.).
Bot vchon enle we wolde were fyf, þe mo þe myryer. [c.1300]
The word had much wider senses in Middle English, e.g. "pleasant-sounding" (of animal voices), "fine" (of weather), "handsome" (of dress), "pleasant-tasting" (of herbs). Merry-bout "an incident of sexual intercourse" was low slang from 1780. Merry-begot "illegitimate" (adj.), "bastard" (n.) is from 1785. Merrie England (now frequently satirical or ironic) is 14c. meri ingland, originally in a broader sense of "bountiful, prosperous." Merry Monday was a 16c. term for "the Monday before Shrove Tuesday" (Mardi Gras).