Definition of merry in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɛri/

adjective (merrier, merriest)

1Cheerful and lively: the streets were dense with merry throngs of students
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 good spirits, high-spirited, blithe, bright, sunny, light-hearted, buoyant, bubbly, lively, carefree, without a care in the world, joyful, joyous, rejoicing, jolly, jocund, convivial, festive, mirthful, gleeful, happy, glad, laughing
informal chirpy
dated gay
archaic frolicsome, sportive, blithesome
1.1(Of an occasion or season) characterized by festivity and enjoyment: 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.
1.2 informal Slightly and good-humouredly drunk: after the third beer he began to feel quite merry
More example sentences
  • Even though I may have been slightly merry I still could not escape the feeling of how weird all this was.
  • In the event, the meal was fine and, by the end, I was feeling slightly merry, and my companions were at last sobering up.
  • Sitting on a bench with, as I soon discover, two slightly merry female postgraduate students who are, like me, waiting for a train on the Rayners Lane branch.
tipsy, mellow, slightly drunk
British informal tiddly, squiffy



go on one's merry way

informal Carry on with a course of action regardless of the consequences: now you’re here, are you thinking of staying, or are you going to go off again on your merry way?
More 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.

lead someone a merry dance

see dance.

make merry

Enjoy oneself with others by dancing and drinking: back at the hotel, he’s urging on his supporters to make merry
More 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, party, celebrate, carouse, feast, {eat, drink, and be merry}, revel, roister, rejoice, go on a spree
informal have a ball, make whoopee
dated spree

the more the merrier

The more people or things there are, the better a situation will be: partners in such projects should come from at least two member states (but the more, the merrier)
More 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!

play merry hell with

see hell.



Pronunciation: /ˈmɛrɪnəs/
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.


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

Words that rhyme with merry

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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: merry

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