Share this entry

merry Syllabification: mer·ry
Pronunciation: /ˈmerē/

Definition of merry in English:

adjective (merrier, merriest)

1Cheerful and lively: the narrow streets were dense with merry throngs of students a merry grin
More example sentences
  • Showing or characterized by exuberance or mirthful excitement; merry; cheerful; jolly.
  • The night was not lonely either, as quite a few regulars danced cheerfully to merry tunes in the moonlight.
  • Still, we carry on cheerfully, whistling a merry tune as we stir it all up with a wooden spoon.
cheerful, cheery, in high spirits, high-spirited, bright, sunny, smiling, lighthearted, buoyant, lively, carefree, without a care in the world, joyful, joyous, jolly, convivial, festive, mirthful, gleeful, happy, glad, laughing
informal chirpy
formal jocund
dated gay
literary blithe
1.1(Of an occasion or season) characterized by festivity and rejoicing: he wished me a merry Christmas
More example sentences
  • Chris Birdsall, hospital spokesman, said it is important patients get to celebrate the merry season.
  • With the merry season fast approaching people are warned that more than two thirds of the region's young singletons say smoking drastically reduces sexual attractiveness.
  • E-card sites flaunt the day tempting the browsers to send wishes across to their pals for a merry season blooming with happiness.
1.2British informal Slightly and good-humoredly drunk: after the third bottle of beer he began to feel quite merry
More example sentences
  • His recollection is you had been to some sort of do in the afternoon or early evening, and you were quite merry.
  • Everyone was getting quite merry, and the glasses were being passed about.
  • They returned home at 10.45 pm "quite merry" and went to bed about half an hour later, he said.


Old English myrige 'pleasing, delightful', of Germanic origin; related to mirth.


go on one's merry way

informal Carry on with a course of action regardless of the consequences.
Example sentences
  • Too shocked to complain, the pair went on their merry way.
  • So we went on our merry way, stopping at Bangkok City Hall, and a tiny temple with a lucky fat Buddha.
  • I bought an iced latte and a yummy vanilla caramel stick thing at Starbucks, browsed the magazines (didn't find Cloth, Paper, Scissors mag) and went on my merry way.

make merry

Enjoy oneself with others, especially by dancing and drinking.
Example sentences
  • He enjoys life to the extreme; he drinks and makes merry with his wide circle of friends.
  • While as a Christian, I am supposed to mourn his death and get myself to church, instead I was at a reunion party indulging in food, drinks and basically making merry.
  • After a day of eating, drinking and making merry, round off with some words of wisdom from our favourite family.
have fun, have a good time, enjoy oneself, have a party, celebrate, carouse, feast, ‘eat, drink, and be merry’, revel, roister
informal party, have a ball

the more the merrier

The more people or things there are, the better or more enjoyable a situation will be.
Example sentences
  • He said: ‘I would invite anyone who has an interest in getting fit and playing this exciting and easy to learn sport to come along the more the merrier!’
  • ‘It's difficult to operate with anything less than 10 or 12 so we are looking for eight or 10 new members this winter, but the more the merrier,’ he said.
  • It's raising money for Cancer Research and the Army Benevolent Fund so hopefully we will get a few there - the more the merrier!



Pronunciation: /ˈmerēnəs/
Example sentences
  • The walk on the way home was filled with merriness and contentment.
  • The merriness of religious celebrations makes them contagious among the pious and not-so-pious - and so should it be with the joy that welcomes the post-fasting holiday, Idul Fitri.
  • The laughing merriness of the tune became more brutal, building to an orgasmic climax as Fisendon unleashed his signature jazz/thrash drumming.

Words that rhyme with merry

beriberi, berry, BlackBerry, bury, Ceri, Derry, ferry, Gerry, jerry, Kerry, perry, Pondicherry, sherry, terry, very, wherry, wolfberry

Definition of merry in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkänfəˌdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...