Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[glee] /gli/
open delight or pleasure; exultant joy; exultation.
an unaccompanied part song for three or more voices, popular especially in the 18th century.
Origin of glee1
before 900; Middle English; Old English glēo; cognate with Old Norse glȳ; akin to glow
1. merriment, jollity, hilarity, mirth, joviality, gaiety. See mirth.


[glee] /gli/ Scot. and North England
verb (used without object)
to squint or look with one eye.
a squint.
an imperfect eye, especially one with a cast.
1250-1300; Middle English glien, gleen; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse gljā to shine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for glee
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was the evening of the glee Club concert, and nearly everybody not a freshman was going to dine somewhere before the concert.

  • Right at him came the donkey, braying as though in glee at the trick he had played.

    Frank Roscoe's Secret Allen Chapman
  • Stone was out for the glee club, already planning to take singing lessons in the contest for the leadership, three years off.

    Stover at Yale Owen Johnson
  • "Ay, faith, you do," The McMurrough chimed in with a sort of glee.

    The Wild Geese Stanley John Weyman
  • Then he began to dance about the room with an expression of glee that annoyed Doctor Johnson exceedingly.

    A House-Boat on the Styx John Kendrick Bangs
British Dictionary definitions for glee


great merriment or delight, often caused by someone else's misfortune
a type of song originating in 18th-century England, sung by three or more unaccompanied voices Compare madrigal (sense 1)
Word Origin
Old English gléo; related to Old Norse glӯ
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for glee

Old English gliu, gliw "entertainment, mirth, jest, play, sport," presumably from a Proto-Germanic *gleujam but absent in other Germanic languages except for the rare Old Norse gly "joy;" probably related to glad. A poetry word in Old English and Middle English, obsolete c.1500-c.1700, it somehow found its way back to currency late 18c. In Old English, an entertainer was a gleuman (female gleo-mægden). Glee club (1814) is from the secondary sense of "unaccompanied part-song" (1650s) as a form of musical entertainment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for glee

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for glee