• a cheerful state or event
  • a merry condition


Jollity is like a spell - an infectious cure to many conditions. On Christmas morning, we wake with the excitement of a child—jollity. In the middle of a successful first date, we blush with sheer joy—jollity. When the oven dings! with freshly baked muffins, our senses tingle with warmth and desire—jollity.

Think of a few of your favorite things; they may vary from oatmeal cookies to snowstorms. No matter, they all have an important correlation—jollity. The wonders of the world are vast, but these few of your favorite things are dear to you, the reason behind your giddy nature or contagious giggles. They accumulate jollity over towns of despair, like snowflakes in the dead cold night—life, a sense of hope, a brighter star that shines through even the darkest of clouds.

The city, with its tainted streets and rushed inhabitants, sheds jollity among the glistening lights and musical cacophony; it is, in fact, a home to many. Especially during Christmastime, even the cold, chilling air adds a sense of festivity. You can find jollity anywhere, in anyone.

So spread the cheer no matter the season; for jollity, there is always a reason.

Example: The town glistened with Christmas lights and jollity as families window-shopped and relished in holiday festivities.


From the Middle English, between the years 1250-1300, jolite was used as an adjective, describing a person or event as "gay" or "happy." It then shared its jolly cheer with the American language.

Derivative Words

Jolly: This adjective means happy and merry.

Example: The children were jolly while opening gifts on Christmas morning.

Jollification: This noun is a celebration or merrymaking.

Example: Each guest wore a smile throughout the entire jollification, toasting to lifelong friendships.

Jollify: This verb means to make jolly.

Example: Santa jollified the kids by handing out candy canes and presents.

Jollily: This adverb means to do something with jolly.

Example: The bartender jollily made the man's drink, dancing and laughing while shaking the mixer.

Jolliness: This noun is a state of jolly or cheer.

Example: Jolliness filled the room on Christmas Eve as the family exchanged gifts.

In Literature

From Jacob Wassermann's The Goose Man:

"But whoever she was, he was impressed by her jollity, her actual lust for laughter, her complete lack of restraint."

Here, Wassermann uses jollity to describe the woman's love for happiness, her intent to remain positive and cheerful; that quality is what attracted the other character to her.

Plato's Laws:

"The seriousness of age takes the place of the jollity of youth."

Plato, as the philosophical man he was, spoke about the alteration of attitudes with age. He explained that with age, people tend to become more serious and less naive and optimistic; in other words, they lose their jollity, or glee.


  • Christmas Eve brings jollity
  • Jollity is pure joy & glee


Happy, Christmas, Jolly, Glee, Cheer

Bring out the linguist in you! What is your own interpretation of jollity. Did you use jollity in a game? Provide an example sentence or a literary quote.