From Middle English merie, mirie, myrie, murie, murȝe, from Old English meriġe, miriġe, myriġe, myreġe, myrġe (“pleasing, agreeable; pleasant, sweet, delightful; melodious”), from Proto-Germanic *murguz (“short, slow”), from Proto-Indo-European *mréǵʰus (“short”). Cognate with Scots mery, mirry (“merry”), Middle Dutch mergelijc (“pleasant, agreeable, joyful”), Old High German murg, murgi ("short, brief"; > German murk (“short, lazy”)), Norwegian dialectal myrjel (“small object, figurine”), Latin brevis (“short, small, narrow, shallow”), Ancient Greek βραχύς (brakhús, “short”). Doublet of brief.
merry (comparative merrier, superlative merriest)
- Jolly and full of high spirits.
- We had a very merry Christmas.
c. 1596–1598, W[illiam] Shakespeare, The Excellent History of the Merchant of Venice. With the Extreme Cruelty of Shylocke the Iew towards the saide Merchant, in Cutting a Iust Pound of His Flesh. And the Obtaining of Portia, by the Choyce of Three Caskets, quarto edition, [London]: Printed by J[ames] Roberts [for Thomas Heyes], published 1600, OCLC 24594216, [Act V, scene i]:
- I am neuer merry when I heare ſweet muſique.
- Festive and full of fun and laughter.
- Everyone was merry at the party.
- The play moved along at a merry pace.
- Causing laughter, mirth, gladness, or delight.
- a merry jest
- (euphemistic) drunk; tipsy
- Some of us got a little merry at the office Christmas party.
jolly and full of high-spirits
festive and full of fun and laughter