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[joi-lis] /ˈdʒɔɪ lɪs/
without joy or gladness; unhappy:
the joyless days of the war.
causing no joy or pleasure.
Origin of joyless
1300-50; Middle English joyles. See joy, -less
Related forms
joylessly, adverb
joylessness, noun
1. sad, cheerless, gloomy, dismal, miserable.
1. joyous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for joyless
  • But he's the one creating a vicious, joyless, senseless world.
  • Of his own free will, he turns from a full-throttle embrace of life to a joyless subsistence.
  • The city's makeover worships two joyless gods: the motor car and faceless power.
  • Then there began to be quirks, mannerisms, in particular a certain compulsive and joyless naughtiness.
  • It often was a joyless exercise, but the reward came in the results.
  • But this film's real trouble lies in its joyless, pointless execution.
  • It's an entire season's worth of sitcom episodes wrapped up in one joyless theatrical film.
  • And sometimes she sees herself participate in the joyless eating.
  • As he warns at the outset of their affair, he is self-loathing, joyless and pathologically jealous.
  • In the process, joyless and his wife are treated as well, unwittingly to them.
British Dictionary definitions for joyless


having or producing no joy or pleasure
Derived Forms
joylessly, adverb
joylessness, noun
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 joyless

mid-14c., from joy + -less. Related: Joylessly; joylessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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