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From jovial +‎ -ly (suffix forming adverbs from adjectives).[1] Jovial is borrowed from French jovial (jolly, jovial), from Italian gioviale (jolly, jovial; (obsolete) born under the influence of the planet Jupiter), from Latin ioviālis (relating to the Roman god Jupiter), from Iuppiter, Iovis (the Roman god Jove or Jupiter, counterpart of the Greek god Zeus) (from Proto-Indo-European *dyew- (to be bright; heaven, sky)) + -ālis (suffix forming adjectives of relationship).[2]



jovially (comparative more jovially, superlative most jovially)

  1. (astrology, obsolete) Under the astrological influence of the planet Jupiter.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, “An Apologie of Raymond Sebond”, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], →OCLC, page 315:
      Some are of the opinion, that the world was made, to giue a body in lieu of puniſhment, vnto the ſpirits, which through their fault were fallen from the puritie, wherin they were created: The firſt creation having beene incorporeal. And that according as they have more or leſſe elonged themſelves from their ſpirituallitie, ſo they are more or leſſe merilie & Giovially, or rudely and Saturnally incorporated: Whence proceedeth the infinite varietie of ſo much matter created.
  2. (by extension) In a jovial (cheerful and good-humoured) manner; jollily, merrily.
    • 1605 (first performance), Benjamin Jonson [i.e., Ben Jonson], “Volpone, or The Foxe. A Comœdie. []”, in The Workes of Ben Jonson (First Folio), London: [] Will[iam] Stansby, published 1616, →OCLC, Act V, scene vii, page 523:
      The seasoning of a play is the applause. / Now, though the Foxe be punish'd by the lawes, / He, yet, doth hope there is no suffring due, / For any fact, which he hath done 'gainst you; / If there be, sensure him: here he, doubtfull, stands. / If not, fare iouially, and clap your hands.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Immoderate Exercise a Cause, and How. Solitarinesse, Idlenesse.”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition 1, section 2, member 2, subsection 6, page 76:
      This enforced solitarinesse takes place, and produceth this effect soonest in such, as haue spent their time Iouially peraduenture in all honest recreations, in all good company, and are vpon a sudden confined, and restrained of their liberty, and barred from their ordinary associats: solitarinesse is very irkesome to such, most tedious, and a sudden cause of great inconvenience.
    • 1724, Charles Johnson, “Of Captain John Evans, and His Crew”, in A General History of the Pyrates, [], 2nd edition, London: Printed for, and sold by T. Warner, [], →OCLC, page 392:
      After they had put their Affairs in a proper Diſpoſition aboard, they went ashore to a little Village for Refreshments, and lived jovially the remaining Part of the Day, at a Tavern, spending three Pistols, and then departed.
    • 1887, Edgar Fawcett, chapter II, in The Confessions of Claud: A Romance, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Company, →OCLC, page 38:
      Life there was at its usual nocturnal ferment. A few of the men were jovially drunk, a few of them savagely so.
    • 1955 (date written), Joseph Heller, “Major —— de Coverley”, in Catch-22 (A Dell Book), New York, N.Y.: Dell Publishing, published 1961 (October 1962 printing), →OCLC, page 140:
      He greeted Milo jovially each time they met and, in an excess of contrite generosity, impulsively recommended Major Major for promotion.



  1. ^ jovially, adv.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “jovially, adv.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ jovial, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1901; “jovial, adj.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.