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[fes-tiv] /ˈfɛs tɪv/
pertaining to or suitable for a feast or festival:
festive decorations; a festive meal.
joyous; merry:
a festive mood.
Origin of festive
1645-55; < Latin fēstīvus merry, equivalent to fēst(us) festal + -īvus -ive
Related forms
festively, adverb
festiveness, noun
nonfestive, adjective
nonfestively, adverb
nonfestiveness, noun
subfestive, adjective
subfestively, adverb
subfestiveness, noun
unfestive, adjective
unfestively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for festive
  • But the soda bread served in her native village and elsewhere bore little resemblance to our family's festive specialty.
  • Celebrate the season with a festive alfresco buffet.
  • Wreath cookies are bright and festive, whether bejeweled or simply frosted.
  • White bags and vellum stars make festive outdoor lanterns.
  • The spicy fragrance wafting through the air can get anyone in a festive spirit.
  • The mood on the street became almost festive, as people talked excitedly in large groups.
  • Every year, scores of artists try to pen the next festive favorite.
  • Activities have been organized to create a festive environment.
  • It is baked in urban homes as a treat for guests and family on special festive days.
  • The mood in the room is congenial, almost festive with learning.
British Dictionary definitions for festive


appropriate to or characteristic of a holiday, etc; merry
Derived Forms
festively, adverb
festiveness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin festīvus joyful, from festus of a feast
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
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Word Origin and History for festive

1650s, "pertaining to a feast," from Latin festivus "festive, joyous, gay," from festum "festival, holiday," noun use of neuter of adjective festus (see feast (n.)).

Meaning "mirthful" is attested by 1774. Unattested from 1651 to 1735; modern use may be a back-formation from festivity. Related: Festively; festiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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