- gaiety or jollity, especially when accompanied by laughter: the excitement and mirth of the holiday season.
- amusement or laughter: He was unable to conceal his mirth.
Origin of mirth
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. Mirth, glee, hilarity, merriment, jollity, joviality refer to the gaiety characterizing people who are enjoying the companionship of others. Mirth suggests spontaneous amusement or gaiety, manifested briefly in laughter: uncontrolled outbursts of mirth. Glee suggests an effervescence of high spirits or exultation, often manifested in playful or ecstatic gestures; it may apply also to a malicious rejoicing over mishaps to others: glee over the failure of a rival. Hilarity implies noisy and boisterous mirth, often exceeding the limits of reason or propriety: hilarity aroused by practical jokes. Merriment suggests fun, good spirits, and good nature rather than the kind of wit and sometimes artificial funmaking that cause hilarity: The house resounded with music and sounds of merriment. Jollity and joviality may refer either to a general atmosphere of mirthful festivity or to the corresponding traits of individuals. Jollity implies an atmosphere of easy and convivial gaiety, a more hearty merriment or a less boisterous hilarity: The holiday was a time of jollity. Joviality implies a more mellow merriment generated by people who are hearty, generous, benevolent, and high-spirited: the joviality of warm-hearted friends.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordslaughter, levity, hilarity, rejoicing, gladness, gaiety, joviality, revelry, sport, cheerfulness, amusement, hysteria, jocundity, entertainment, glee, happiness, frolic, festivity, merrymaking, lightheartedness
Examples from the Web for mirth
His voice is quiet, melodic, and often tinged with an undercurrent of mirth.Colm Toibin Describes The Creation Of His Quiet Masterpiece ‘Nora Webster’
November 3, 2014
The mirth is misleading, as are the soft features of the baby-faced Surkov.Is This the Mastermind Behind Russia’s Crimea Grab?
Anna Nemtsova, Eli Lake
March 19, 2014
That's better than Germany, France and even Brazil, where mirth is nearly a religion.Venezuela Unveils Orwellian Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness
October 31, 2013
The mirth came from imagining how he would twist the Tet Offensive, which was under way, into “progress.”McNamara's Lethal Illusions
July 6, 2009
In vain the Woman Perfect struggled to subdue her mirth to penitence.The Bacillus of Beauty
Chip made haste to stifle his mirth, in fear that she was going to cry.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
Angelique interrupted him by laughing gaily, and he joined her in her mirth for a moment.The Dream
Among the desperate there is almost invariably a tendency to mirth.Night and Morning, Complete
The two Ricardis laughed; but instantly restrained their mirth.Casanova's Homecoming
- laughter, gaiety, or merriment
Old English myrgth; compare merry
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 mirth
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper