From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English jolyfte, from Old French joliveté (gaiety, cheerfulness; amorous passion; life of pleasure), from jolif. Equivalent to jolly +‎ -ty.


  • IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒɒlɪti/
  • (file)


jollity (countable and uncountable, plural jollities)

  1. (uncountable) The state of being jolly; jolliness, cheerfulness.
    • 1651, Jos[eph] Hall, “Soliloq[uy] XI. False Joy.”, in Susurrium cum Deo. Soliloquies: Or, Holy Self-conferences of the Devout Soul, [], 2nd edition, London: [] Will[iam] Hunt, and are to be sold by George Lathum junior, [], →OCLC, page 37:
      But I pitty the flatteries, and ſelfe-applauſes of a careleſſe and impenitent heart: This jollity hath in it much danger, and vvithout ſome change, death.
    • 1840 April – 1841 November, Charles Dickens, “Chapter the Eighteenth”, in The Old Curiosity Shop. A Tale. [], volume I, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1841, →OCLC:
      The Jolly Sandboys was a small road-side inn of pretty ancient date, with a sign, representing three Sandboys increasing their jollity with as many jugs of ale and bags of gold.
    • 1891, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented [], volume I, London: James R[ipley] Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., [], →OCLC, phase the first (The Maiden), page 36:
      The youngsters, not immediately within sight, seemed rather bright and desirable appurtenances than otherwise; the incidents of daily life were not without humorousness and jollity in their aspect there.
  2. (countable) Revelry or festivity; a merry or festive gathering.
    • 2006 September 4, Rupert Cornwell, “You'd think it was the Thirties all over again”, in Independent, UK, retrieved 21 Sept. 2009:
      Across the US, candidates traditionally attend rallies, barbecues and similar jollities in their states and districts.
  3. (countable) Things, remarks, or characteristics which are enjoyable.
    • 1851 June – 1852 April, Harriet Beecher Stowe, chapter 11, in Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life among the Lowly, volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), Boston, Mass.: John P[unchard] Jewett & Company; Cleveland, Oh.: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, published 20 March 1852, →OCLC:
      Add to this picture a jolly, crackling, rollicking fire, going rejoicingly up a great wide chimney,—the outer door and every window being set wide open, and the calico window-curtain flopping and snapping in a good stiff breeze of damp raw air,—and you have an idea of the jollities of a Kentucky tavern.