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or gayety

[gey-i-tee] /ˈgeɪ ɪ ti/
noun, plural gaieties.
the state of being gay or cheerful; gay spirits.
Often, gaieties. merrymaking or festivity:
the gaieties of the New Year season.
showiness; finery:
gaiety of dress.
Origin of gaiety
1625-35; < French gaieté, equivalent to gai gay + -té -ty2
Related forms
supergaiety, noun
1. merriment, mirth, glee, jollity, joyousness, liveliness, sportiveness, hilarity, vivacity, cheerfulness, joviality. 3. brilliance, glitter, flashiness, gaudiness.
1. sadness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gaiety
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When he was not suffering he was full of life, and even of gaiety.

    Hugh Arthur Christopher Benson
  • "Then they'll have to prove it to me," she corrected, her gaiety now a trifle forced.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • The husbands, brothers, and lovers had come in, and the scene was redolent of gaiety.

    The Minister's Wooing Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Indeed she chid Margaret for her lack of gaiety upon such an occasion.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • Her children were glad to get away from their home and find otherwhere the freedom and gaiety denied them there.

  • The place is something like the gaiety Theatre at Simla, enlarged twenty times.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • "I know; I am very cross and disagreeable," said Cynthia, with a resolute assumption of gaiety.

    A Life Sentence Adeline Sergeant
  • There was a large amount of gaiety in the old villages in those days.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • We were streaming with perspiration, but our gaiety increased, instead of diminishing, with the dangers.

British Dictionary definitions for gaiety


noun (pl) -ties
the state or condition of being merry, bright, or lively
festivity; merrymaking
Also (esp US) gayety
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 gaiety

1630s, from French gaieté, from gai "gay" (see gay). In the 1890s, especially with reference to a London theater of that name, and the kind of musical shows and dancing girls found there.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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