See also: Joy


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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English joye, borrowed from Old French joie, from Late Latin gaudia, neuter plural (mistaken as feminine singular) of Latin gaudium (joy), from gaudēre (to be glad, rejoice). Doublet of jo. Displaced native Old English ġefēa.


joy (countable and uncountable, plural joys)

  1. A feeling of extreme happiness or cheerfulness, especially related to the acquisition or expectation of something good.
    a child's joy on Christmas morning
    • 1620, Giovanni Bocaccio, John Florio, transl., The Decameron, Containing an Hundred Pleaſant Nouels: Wittily Diſcourſed, Betweene Seuen Honourable Ladies, and Three Noble Gentlemen[1], Isaac Iaggard, Nouell 8, The Eighth Day:
      [] purſued his vnneighbourly purpoſe in ſuch ſort: that hee being the ſtronger perſwader, and ſhe (belike) too credulous in beleeuing or elſe ouer-feeble in reſiſting, from priuate imparlance, they fell to action; and continued their cloſe fight a long while together, vnſeene and vvithout ſuſpition, no doubt to their equall ioy and contentment.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant. The young priests who lived here wore cassocks and birettas; their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face; and in their intercourse with him and his wife they seemed to be brothers.
    They will be a source of strength and joy in your life.
  2. Anything that causes such a feeling.
    the joys and demands of parenthood
  3. Luck or success; a positive outcome.
    • 2012, Colin Owen, Colin's Shorts (volume 2, page 65)
      Grant had no joy with taking a nap, so he began to systematically feel if everything was working: fingers and toes, etc.
    • 2012, Robert Stansbridge, Bia's Wedding (page 4)
      'Rob? It's Gary. Are you having any joy with this trip to Bali?' 'No joy at all, mate. I reckon Bali's out for the foreseeable future. []
  4. (obsolete) The sign or exhibition of joy; gaiety; merriment; festivity.
Derived termsEdit
Terms derived from joy

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English joyen, joȝen, joien, from Old French jöir, from the noun (see above).


joy (third-person singular simple present joys, present participle joying, simple past and past participle joyed)

  1. (intransitive) To feel joy, to rejoice.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter IX, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVII:
      for oftymes or this oure lord shewed hym vnto good men and vnto good knyghtes in lykenes of an herte But I suppose from hens forth ye shalle see no more / and thenne they Ioyed moche / and dwelled ther alle that day / And vpon the morowe whan they had herde masse / they departed and commaunded the good man to god
    • 1829, Walter Scott, Anne of Geierstein, Edinburgh: Cadell, Volume 3, Chapter 8, p. 222,[2]
      I joy to see you wear around your neck the holy relic I bestowed on you;—but what Moorish charmlet is that you wear beside it?
    • 1885, Richard Francis Burton (translator), The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 18, “Tale of the Portress,” p. 178,[3]
      I swore readily enough to this and he joyed with exceeding joy and embraced me round the neck while love for him possessed my whole heart.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To enjoy.
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II, London: William Jones,[4]
      I haue my wish, in that I ioy thy sight,
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonbie, Book 4, Canto I, p. 5,[5]
      For from the time that Scudamour her bought,
      In perilous fight, she neuer ioyed day [] .
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 9, lines 1164-1168,[6]
      Is this the Love, is this the recompence
      Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, exprest
      Immutable when thou wert lost, not I,
      Who might have liv’d and joyd immortal bliss,
      Yet willingly chose rather Death with thee:
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To give joy to; to congratulate.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To gladden; to make joyful; to exhilarate.



From Persian جای(jây).


joy (plural joylar)

  1. place

Derived termsEdit