From Middle English blithe (“glad, happy, joyful; causing joy, joyous; gentle, mild; gracious, merciful; bright, shining; beautiful, fair”) [and other forms], from Old English blīþe (“glad, happy, joyful; gentle, mild”), from Proto-West Germanic *blīþī, from Proto-Germanic *blīþiz (“friendly; gentle, mild; pleasing”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlī- (“fine; light; pleasant”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (“shiny; white”).
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /blaɪð/, /blaɪθ/
Audio (RP) (file) Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -aɪð, -aɪθ
- Casually careless or indifferent; showing a lack of concern.
- She had a blithe disregard of cultures outside the United States.
- 1913–1921, D[avid] H[erbert] Lawrence, “England, My England”, in England My England and Other Stories, New York, N.Y.: Thomas Seltzer, published 24 October 1922, OCLC 494162929, page 23:
- From mother and nurse it was a guerilla gunfire of commands, and blithe, quicksilver disobedience from the three blonde, never-still little girls.
- (chiefly Scotland, elsewhere dated or literary) Cheerful, happy.
- c. 1588–1593, William Shakespeare, “The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iv], page 47, column 2:
- And now ſweet Emperour be blithe againe, / And bury all thy feare in my deuiſes.
- a. 1645, John Milton, “L’Allegro”, in Poems of Mr. John Milton, […], London: […] Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Mosely, […], published 1646, OCLC 606951673, page 31:
- There on Beds of Violets blew, / And freſh-blown Roſes waſht in dew, / Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair, / So buckſom, blith, and debonair.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book X”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 610–613:
- For that fair femal Troop thou ſawſt, that ſeemd / Of Goddeſſes, ſo blithe, ſo ſmooth, ſo gay, / Yet empty of good wherein conſiſts, / Womans domeſtic honour and chief praiſe; […]
- 1725, Homer; [Elijah Fenton], transl., “Book I”, in The Odyssey of Homer. […], volume I, London: […] Bernard Lintot, OCLC 8736646, lines 211–214, page 26:
- Shou'd he return, that troop ſo blithe and bold, / With purple robes inwrought, and ſtiff with gold, / Precipitant in fear, wou'd wing their flight, / And curſe their cumbrous pride's unwieldy weight.
- 1808 February 22, Walter Scott, “Introduction to Canto Second: To the Rev. John Marriot, M.A.”, in Marmion; a Tale of Flodden Field, Edinburgh: […] J[ames] Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, […]; London: William Miller, and John Murray, OCLC 270129616, page 63:
- But not more blythe than sylvan court, / Than we have been at humbler sport; / Though small our pomp, and mean our game, / Our mirth, dear Marriot, was the same.
- 1816, Jedadiah Cleishbotham [pseudonym; Walter Scott], chapter IV, in Tales of My Landlord, […], volume III (Old Mortality), Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for William Blackwood, […]; London: John Murray, […], OCLC 230697985, pages 85–86:
- Tarry, tarry, ye wha were aye sae blythe to be at the meetings of the saints, and wad ride every muir in Scotland to find a conventicle.
- 1820 June, Percy Bysshe Shelley, “To a Skylark”, in Prometheus Unbound […], London: C[harles] and J[ames] Ollier […], published 1820, OCLC 36924440, stanza 1, page 201:
- Hail to thee, blithe spirit! / Bird thou never wert, / That from heaven, or near it, / Pourest thy full heart / In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
- 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave Five. The End of It.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, […], OCLC 55746801, page 158:
- He looked so irresistibly pleasant, in a word, that three or four good-humoured fellows said, "Good morning, sir! A merry Christmas to you!" And Scrooge said often afterwards, that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard, those were the blithest in his ears.
- 1891, Thomas Hardy, chapter III, in Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented […], volume I, London: James R[ipley] Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., […], OCLC 13623666, phase the first (The Maiden), page 31:
- To-night, however, she was even in a blither mood than usual. There was a dreaminess, a preoccupation, an exaltation, in the maternal look which the girl could not understand.
- blythe (obsolete)
- A howp ye haed a blithe birthday
- I hope you had a happy birthday