Definition of gaiety in English:


(US gayety)


mass noun
  • 1The state or quality of being light-hearted or cheerful.

    ‘the sudden gaiety of children's laughter’
    • ‘Village fairs were occasions for happiness and gaiety.’
    • ‘But it is impossible by words to convey any idea of the effect of his conversation, and of the impression made by so much philosophy, gaiety and humour, accompanied by a manner at once so animated and simple.’
    • ‘The evening went on with such joyous gaiety that no one present would soon forget it.’
    • ‘The Sikh community of the twin cities celebrated Baisakhi with religious fervour and gaiety here on Wednesday.’
    • ‘Young people there exude gaiety and mirth, for who could be cynical about love in Italy while thinking of Shakespeare's play?’
    • ‘The 30 comedies that he composed after his return to Paris reveal an art capable of admitting serious and even tragic experience without sacrificing the laughter, gaiety, and exuberance proper to comedy.’
    • ‘This externalisation removes all sense of the latent, and, by extension, the disturbing, licensing the audience to observe this play's gaiety and poignancies without being perpetually wary of killjoy provisos.’
    • ‘In a blaze of dazzling light and gayety, White City, the new pleasure resort on the South side, which was given over to the public today, opened its doors last night and showed some few thousands of its friends the completeness of its larder of entertainment and innocent, as well as interesting, diversion.’
    • ‘I am sorry to hurt any man's feelings, and to brush away the magnificent fabric of levity and gaiety that he has reared; but I accuse our minister of honesty and diligence; I deny that he is careless of rash.’
    • ‘On first seeing these works, the viewer is overtaken by a sense of gaiety and joyfulness.’
    • ‘But he would much rather be on the boat, facing aliens, monsters, and just plain bad guys, than facing the cheerfulness and gaiety of another Christmas season.’
    • ‘If red roses are arranged with yellow roses or blossoms contain both red and yellow coloration, they express gaiety, joviality and happiness.’
    • ‘Of all deceptive things on earth nothing is so deceptive as mere gaiety and merriment.’
    • ‘He paid tribute to Abbeyside Pattern Committee and those who helped to light the Village, giving an atmosphere of gaiety and good cheer for the Christmas Season.’
    • ‘I expect my chosen career to last several more years, and bring happiness and gaiety.’
    • ‘All my cousins and aunts and uncles got together in my grandfather's house and we all spent this day together with traditional gaiety and tons of happiness.’
    • ‘Event Management, as a profession, is gaining increasing relevance what with the intension of the people to conduct functions, including marriages and school functions, with pomp and gaiety.’
    • ‘His exuberance, gaiety and intelligence made him many friends and his irrepressible high spirits and disregard for authority sometimes strained the patience of his tolerant and long suffering housemaster.’
    • ‘Christmas even in more modern times has not always been remembered with gaiety and good cheer.’
    • ‘Life and crime are games to these characters, and they vacillate between childish gaiety and immoderate violence.’
    cheerfulness, cheer, light-heartedness, merriment, glee, gladness, happiness, joy, joyfulness, joyousness, delight, pleasure, high spirits, good spirits, good humour, jollity, jolliness, hilarity, mirth, joviality, exuberance, elation, exultation, euphoria, jubilation
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    1. 1.1 Lively celebration or festivities.
      ‘he seemed to be a part of the gaiety, having a wonderful time’
      • ‘Time for celebration, festivities, gaiety, food, drink, laughter… oh, that's Christmas Eve.’
      • ‘Pomp, pageantry and gaiety ran riot making the atmosphere electric.’
      • ‘It stood in stark contrast to the gaiety and celebration of the previous day at Lake Burley Griffin.’
      • ‘Leopold Hawelka, himself, will often add to the day's gaiety by inducing strangers to share your table, leaving you free to ignore or chat to them as you will.’
      • ‘The gaiety surrounding Durga puja has universal appeal with people from every community participating in the festivities.’
      • ‘So it was nice to be invited to the jollity and gaiety of a wedding for once instead of being summonsed to a cremation.’
      merrymaking, festivity, fun, fun and games, frolics, revels, revelry, jollification, celebration, rejoicing, pleasure
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2gaietiesdated Entertainments or amusements.
      ‘people long for the enchantments and gaieties of the European cities’
      • ‘Through these she saw the gaieties of the ‘Moondance’ festival in full force.’
      • ‘Ninon's return to the gayeties of her drawing rooms was hailed with loud acclamations from all quarters.’
      • ‘Our harvest gaieties have come to a close, and the ghost stories are about to begin.’
      • ‘Mrs. Jerome had brought her two elder daughters to join in the gaieties of the regatta.’
      • ‘By the advice of her ministers, she checked the gayeties of the court; she even submitted to a reduction of her income.’


  • the gaiety of nations

    • ironic General cheerfulness or amusement.

      ‘editors added to the gaiety of nations by suing each other’
      • ‘British Euro-skepticism may irritate others, but let's be fair - it has much contributed to the gaiety of nations.’
      • ‘All of this is fine and adds to the gaiety of nations but, oh, those terrible songs.’
      • ‘It has also added a little to the gaiety of nations.’
      • ‘As part of my contribution to the gaiety of nations, I'll tell you what he told me.’
      • ‘April has added to the gaiety of nations - dancing on tables, drinking champagne from slippers at dawn, hurtling around in fast cars with louche aristocrats.’
      • ‘I am sure your government merely intended to contribute some homespun humor to the general gaiety of nations, as Queen Marie Antoinette so famously did in her day.’
      • ‘It is a strange career to look back upon; a career associated, throughout, with the gaiety of nations.’
      • ‘It was certainly not because, as a smiling friend suggested, I imagined I was thereby adding to the gaiety of nations.’
      • ‘I do feel I've contributed to the gaiety of nations and I can't deny I get a vibe out of all the acclaim.’
      • ‘His distinctive contribution to the gaiety of nations has been to discern high comedy in the low compromises of kitsch.’


Mid 17th century: from French gaieté, from gai (see gay).