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See also: Glee and g'lée


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  • enPR: glē, IPA(key): /ɡliː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iː

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English gle, from Old English glēo, glīġ, glēow, glīw (glee, pleasure, mirth, play, sport; music; mockery), from Proto-Germanic *glīwą (joy, mirth), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰlew- (to joke, make fun, enjoy). Cognate with Scots gle, glie, glew (game, play, sport, mirth, joy, rejoicing, entertainment, melody, music), Icelandic glý (joy, glee, gladness), Ancient Greek χλεύη (khleúē, joke, jest, scorn). A poetic word in Middle English, the word was obsolete by 1500, but revived late 18c.


glee (countable and uncountable, plural glees)

  1. (uncountable) Joy; happiness; great delight, especially from one's own good fortune or from another's misfortune.
    Synonyms: merriment, mirth, gaiety, gloat
    • 1968, “Sympathy for the Devil”, in The Rolling Stones (music), Beggars Banquet:
      I watched with glee while your kings and queens fought for ten decades for the gods they made.
    • 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 55:
      Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.
  2. (uncountable) Music; minstrelsy; entertainment.
  3. (singing, countable) An unaccompanied part song for three or more solo voices, not necessarily merry.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English gleen, glewen, from Old English glēowian (to sing, play an instrument, jest), from Proto-West Germanic *glīwōn, from Proto-Germanic *glīwōną. Cognate with Icelandic glýja (to be gleeful).


glee (third-person singular simple present glees, present participle gleeing, simple past and past participle gleed)

  1. To sing a glee (unaccompanied part song).




glee f

  1. something that is wet because it has been pasted together


Root singular Root plural Diminutive singular Diminutive plural
Nominative glee gleeër gleeke gleekes
Genitive glee gleeër gleekes gleekes
Locative glöj glöjjer glöjke glöjkes
Dative¹ glöje gleeër ? ?
Accusative¹ glee gleeërn gleeke gleekes
  • Dative and accusative are nowadays obsolete, use nominative instead.

See also[edit]

Pennsylvania German[edit]


From Middle High German klein, kleine, from Old High German kleini, from Proto-Germanic *klainiz (shining, fine, splendid, tender), from Proto-Indo-European *gleh₁y- (to cleave, stick). Compare German klein, Dutch klein.



  1. small