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mirth

[murth]
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noun
  1. gaiety or jollity, especially when accompanied by laughter: the excitement and mirth of the holiday season.
  2. amusement or laughter: He was unable to conceal his mirth.
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Origin of mirth

before 900; Middle English mirthe, Old English myrgth. See merry, -th1
Related formsmirth·less, adjective

Synonyms

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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.

Antonyms

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

Related Words

pensivesombergloomywistfultritemournfulsorrowfulgrimdepressedmiserablesorrytroubleddespondentpessimisticdoursullensolemnforlornmelancholysad

Examples from the Web for mirthless

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was a harsh, mirthless laugh, which was equally an insult.

    The Golden Woman

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • “Well, I know it,” said Rathburn with a low, mirthless laugh.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • A quiet and mirthless chuckle was heard in the pause of shocked silence.

    The Rescue

    Joseph Conrad

  • A mirthless voice, with an intention of mirth in it, said, 'Look out!

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • When the Prodigal expostulated with me I laughed—a bitter, mirthless laugh.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service


British Dictionary definitions for mirthless

mirth

noun
  1. laughter, gaiety, or merriment
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Derived Formsmirthful, adjectivemirthfully, adverbmirthfulness, nounmirthless, adjectivemirthlessly, adverbmirthlessness, noun

Word Origin

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 mirthless

adj.

late 14c., from mirth + -less. Related: Mirthlessly.

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mirth

n.

Old English myrgð "joy, pleasure," from Proto-Germanic *murgitha (cf. Middle Dutch merchte), noun of quality from *murgjo- (see merry; also see -th (2)). Mirthquake "entertainment that excites convulsive laughter" first attested 1928, in reference to Harold Lloyd movies.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper