joy

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Middle English joye, from Old French joie, from Late Latin gaudia, neuter plural (mistaken as feminine singular) of gaudium (joy), from gaudēre (to be glad, rejoice). Displaced native Middle English wunne (from Old English wynn), Middle English hight, hught (joy, hope) (from Old English hyht), Middle English rot, root (joy, delight) (from Old English rōt), Middle English murȝe murghe (joy, mirth) (from Old English myrg (joy, mirth)), Middle English gleo (joy, glee) (from Old English glēow, glīw (glee)), Middle English blisse (joy, bliss) (from Old English blisse, blīþs).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

joy (countable and uncountable, plural joys)

  1. A feeling of extreme happiness or cheerfulness, especially related to the acquisition or expectation of something good.
    a child's joy on Christmas morning
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant. The young priests who lived here wore cassocks and birettas; their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face; and in their intercourse with him and his wife they seemed to be brothers.
    They will be a source of strength and joy in your life.
  2. Anything that causes such a feeling.
    the joys and demands of parenthood
    • Bible, 1 Thess. ii. 20
      Ye are our glory and joy.
    • Keats
      A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
  3. (obsolete) The sign or exhibition of joy; gaiety; merriment; festivity.
    • Spenser
      Such joy made Una, when her knight she found.
    • Dryden
      The roofs with joy resound.

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

joy (third-person singular simple present joys, present participle joying, simple past and past participle joyed)

  1. (intransitive) To feel joy, to rejoice.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book XVII:
      And than they joyed much, and dwelled there all day; and uppon the morne, whan they had herde Masse, they departed and commended the good man to God.
    • 1885, Sir Richard Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 18:
      I swore readily enough to this and he joyed with exceeding joy and embraced me round the neck while love for him possessed my whole heart.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To enjoy.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.i.2:
      For from the time that Scudamour her bought, / In perilous fight, she neuer ioyed day [...].
    • Milton
      Who might have lived and joyed immortal bliss.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To give joy to; to congratulate.
    • Dryden
      Joy us of our conquest.
    • Prior
      To joy the friend, or grapple with the foe.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To gladden; to make joyful; to exhilarate.
    • Shakespeare
      Neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits.

Statistics[edit]