Definition of joy in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

    ‘tears of joy’
    ‘the joy of being alive’
    • ‘We are all delighted for Christy who has brought so much joy and happiness to so many people.’
    • ‘At St Mary's Convent of Mercy School, pupils shed tears of joy on opening their results.’
    • ‘She cried tears of joy on the podium after becoming the first woman from her country to win an Olympic title.’
    • ‘Again, last week saw tears of joy and tears of woe as the GCSE results came out.’
    • ‘I wanted to jump for joy as I followed him out of the parking lot and up to the front of school.’
    • ‘They were tears of joy and gratitude that her gods had not let her down.’
    • ‘The items were just perfect, bringing joy and happiness to every single one of them.’
    • ‘Another year has passed and for some it brought joy and happiness, for others sadness and sorrow.’
    • ‘Despite his love for Emma and the joy of having a child at last, Nelson was none the less given to bouts of depression.’
    • ‘My head rang with pain but I was alive, and the thought made me want to jump for joy.’
    • ‘She felt her heart pound as she felt joy and happiness for the first time in months.’
    • ‘And then I discovered the joy of running through a forest, and was spoilt forever.’
    • ‘Joseph seems to spread joy and pleasure wherever he goes and has been an inspiration to many people.’
    • ‘She packed up her flute and left the band room, wanting to run in to a corner and jump for joy.’
    • ‘Lenita cried happy tears of joy to see him alive and hugged the air out of him.’
    • ‘Firstly, I'm going to take some classes, teaching kids and teenagers about the joy of cooking.’
    • ‘One part of me wanted to jump for joy, and the other just wanted to run and hide in fear.’
    • ‘They are not doing it for the job, they are doing it for the joy, and there's something really moving about that.’
    • ‘It's seeing that every situation is an opportunity for joy and happiness, enjoying your work.’
    • ‘I waited until the gate had closed behind me and I was out of sight to do my jump for joy.’
    delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, ebullience, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, transports of delight, rapture, radiance
    pleasure, source of pleasure, delight, treat, thrill
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    1. 1.1[count noun]A thing that causes joy.
      ‘the joys of country living’
      • ‘One of the joys of following English soccer is learning some of its delightful jargon.’
      • ‘One of the great joys of living in Toronto is the city's constant state of evolution.’
      • ‘Read through this test to see if you're ready for the joys of parenthood.’
      • ‘He also related some anecdotes on the joys of sailing, drawing on his 60 odd years of sailing.’
      • ‘It's not something she's looking forward to, but it's a small price to pay for the joys of motherhood.’
      • ‘My Mum is amazing, and one of my greatest joys as an adult was realising that she is my best friend and I can tell her anything.’
      • ‘It has all the joys of country living but with a touch of modern luxury.’
      • ‘I have discovered the joys of younger men, many of whom really appreciate the charms and gentleness of an older lady.’
      • ‘The joys of food and wine are there for everybody - and all you need to bring is your corkscrew and curiosity.’
      • ‘The joys of living with art and sharing the experience are more difficult to articulate.’
      • ‘From her I discovered simple joys like listening for the cuckoo and hearing stories around the fire.’
      • ‘We had both been babbling on about the joys of adventure when a young woman stood up and cut us short.’
      • ‘Surprising family and friends with well-selected gifts is one of the great joys of Christmas.’
      • ‘A teenager, the youngest in Britain to have triplets, spoke of her delight at getting used to the joys of family life.’
      • ‘Perhaps as a response my body is preparing for the indoor joys of winter.’
      • ‘I even wrote an essay about the joys of dentistry which was presented to my delighted dentist.’
      • ‘And it was one of the joys of my life to know him and to hear the stories that he told about his brother.’
      • ‘One of life's great joys is ploughing your way through a reasonably intelligent, breathless thriller.’
      • ‘Charlie and Phil gradually bond with their sons, and start to fully appreciate the priceless joys of fatherhood.’
      • ‘In spite of the indoor winter joys of heaters and comfort foods, something needs to be done.’
    2. 1.2British informal [usually with negative]Success or satisfaction.
      ‘you'll get no joy out of her’
      success, satisfaction, luck, successful result, positive result
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[NO OBJECT]literary
  • Rejoice.

    ‘I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain’
    • ‘It took 52 years for Sri Lanka to do it - when Susanthika mounted the medal ceremony podium on Thursday night to receive her bronze, millions of Sri Lankans around the world joyed in jubilation.’
    be joyful, be happy, be pleased, be glad, be delighted, be elated, be ecstatic, be euphoric, be overjoyed, be as pleased as punch, be cock-a-hoop, be jubilant, be rapturous, be in raptures, be transported, be beside oneself with joy, be delirious, be thrilled, jump for joy, be on cloud nine, be treading on air, be walking on air, be in seventh heaven, exult, glory, triumph
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  • be full of the joys of spring

    • Be lively and cheerful.

      • ‘No doubt others will pitch in tomorrow, but the Indy, which has the exclusive on this, is full of the joys of spring.’
      • ‘He seems full of the joys of spring for some reason.’
      • ‘Well, yes, I tried, but here I was, a few days short of 75, tumbling riotously out of the Joyce Theater and full of the joys of spring and dance.’
      • ‘So sign up today and be full of the joys of spring.’
      • ‘I've realised that when I do this, I wake up full of the joys of spring, even when it's midsummer.’
      • ‘Yes, rosemary can help you feel mentally and physically on top of the world - full of the joys of spring, in fact.’
      • ‘The handsome chap in the top photo is me first thing on Christmas Day, wide awake and full of the joys of spring.’
      • ‘Personally, I'm generally full of the joys of spring, even in the depths of winter.’
      • ‘There have been days when I've jumped out of bed full of the joys of spring, opened the mail and felt like crawling back under the duvet.’
      • ‘We know that those members over there are not full of the joys of spring, at all.’
      cheerful, happy, jolly, merry, bright, sunny, joyous, light-hearted, in good spirits, in high spirits, sparkling, bubbly, effervescent, exuberant, ebullient, cock-a-hoop, breezy, airy, cheery, sprightly, jaunty, smiling, grinning, beaming, laughing, mirthful, radiant
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  • wish someone joy

    • ironic Congratulate someone.

      ‘I wish you joy of your marriage’
      • ‘I did not know what to say to Yrling, and so said simply, ‘My Lord, I wish you joy.’’
      • ‘I believe soon, Christine, we shall be wishing you joy!’
      • ‘And because I am a grownup person, and very well-sorted out, I wish you joy.’
      • ‘Tomas is a very popular young man and we wish him joy and fulfilment in his ministry as a priest of the diocese.’
      • ‘Gallantly, then, the captain advanced and tenderly bowed to Priscilla, ‘wishing her joy of her wedding, and loudly lauding her husband.’’
      • ‘I wish you joy on your inner journey to clarity and health.’
      • ‘Elizabeth explains how greatly her feelings for Darcy have changed, and once her father learns of what Darcy did for Lydia, he sees that Elizabeth is serious and wishes her joy.’
      • ‘He wouldn't dance at her wedding - had turned down the invitation - but he wished her joy.’
      • ‘The community wish them joy, good wishes and congratulations.’
      • ‘So I think she is a person with an usual gift for loving kindness and forgiveness, and I wish her joy and happiness in her marriage.’
      give someone one's good wishes, wish someone good luck, wish someone joy, drink someone's health, toast, drink to, drink a toast to
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Middle English: from Old French joie, based on Latin gaudium, from gaudere rejoice.