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”), Old Norse glȳ (“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.
- (uncountable) Joy; merriment; mirth; gaiety; particularly, the mirth enjoyed at a feast.
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.
- (uncountable) Music; minstrelsy; entertainment.
- (music, countable) An unaccompanied part song for three or more solo voices, not necessarily merry.
- something that is wet because it has been pasted together
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- Dative and accusative are nowadays obsolete, use nominative instead.