View synonyms for merry



[ mer-ee ]


, mer·ri·er, mer·ri·est.
  1. full of cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous in disposition or spirit:

    a merry little man.

    Synonyms: glad, cheery, frolicsome, blithesome, blithe, happy

    Antonyms: sad

  2. laughingly happy; mirthful; festively joyous; hilarious:

    a merry time at the party.

    Synonyms: gleeful, jovial, jolly

    Antonyms: solemn

  3. Archaic. causing happiness; pleasant; delightful.



[ mer-ee ]


  1. a female given name.


/ ˈmɛrɪ /


  1. cheerful; jolly
  2. very funny; hilarious
  3. informal.
    slightly drunk
  4. archaic.
  5. make merry
    to revel; be festive
  6. play merry hell with informal.
    to disturb greatly; disrupt

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Pronunciation Note

See Mary.
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Derived Forms

  • ˈmerrily, adverb
  • ˈmerriness, noun
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Other Words From

  • mer·ri·ly adverb
  • mer·ri·ness noun
  • o·ver·mer·ri·ly adverb
  • o·ver·mer·ri·ness noun
  • o·ver·mer·ry adjective
  • un·mer·ri·ly adverb
  • un·mer·ry adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of merry1

First recorded before 900; Middle English meri(e),myrie, murie, Old English myr(i)ge, mer(i)ge “pleasant, delightful”
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Word History and Origins

Origin of merry1

Old English merige agreeable
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. make merry, Older Use.
    1. to be happy or festive:

      The New Year's revelers were making merry in the ballroom.

    2. to make fun of; ridicule:

      The unthinking children made merry of the boy who had no shoes.

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Example Sentences

So astronomers only had a brief window of time to gather as much data as they could about the object before it went on its merry way.

We don’t want to wait months or years to find that merry band of outsiders who love the same odd little movie we do.

From Time

Early in the pandemic, a lot of people said things like, let’s just require the people who are the most vulnerable to stay at home, and the rest of us should be able to go about our merry way.

We may admire colorful light displays from the safety of our cars, or watch the Rat King leap across our television screens, but there is no shortage of opportunities to feel merry and bright.

After a while I saw that there was just a merry-go-round of abused women coming in and coming out, none of whom were healing.

From Ozy

Bohac said the bill does not require anyone to say “Merry Christmas” if they are not up for it.

Because we all grew up initially thinking it was “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.”

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.”

We were in the midst of it, and having a merry time, when the door suddenly opened and Liszt appeared.

There was a host of friends and acquaintances around the little home, making merry and admiring the baby.

The comical little pig and the merry monkey hid under the bush and ate acorns as they watched the circus procession go past.

The vintage hath mourned, the vine hath languished away, all the merry have sighed.

How gracefully she led off the merry dance whilst clogs were on her spirits, weighing upon every movement.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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