Did the great god Pan yet live, in truth, and did he make merry o' summer nights in sylvan court and viney bower?
They were all to come in and make merry, he said, but the prince he took to his own house.
Dear good Cronus, you ought really to remove this inequality and pool all the good things before telling us to make merry.
No, or she had not gathered Wimbledon about her to make merry the midnight hour.
One, at least, drew a ten-thousand-dollar prize last December and is away to make merry in the New World.
make merry who might, Aucassin had no taste for it; since he saw nothing there of that he loved.
There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honor of the time.
The spit must be turning, and we can make merry with you, heart and belly.
I hide the girls in the day-time, and make merry with them in the evening.
A clubhouse is fitted up for the mill hands to make merry in.
Old English myrge "pleasing, agreeable, pleasant, sweet; pleasantly, melodiously," from Proto-Germanic *murgijaz, which probably originally meant "short-lasting," (cf. Old High German murg "short," Gothic gamaurgjan "to shorten"), from PIE *mreghu- "short" (see brief (adj.)). The only exact cognate for meaning outside English was Middle Dutch mergelijc "joyful."
Connection to "pleasure" is likely via notion of "making time fly, that which makes the time seem to pass quickly" (cf. German Kurzweil "pastime," literally "a short time;" Old Norse skemta "to amuse, entertain, amuse oneself," from skamt, neuter of skammr "short"). There also was a verbal form in Old English, myrgan "be merry, rejoice." For vowel evolution, see bury (v.).
Bot vchon enle we wolde were fyf, þe mo þe myryer. [c.1300]The word had much wider senses in Middle English, e.g. "pleasant-sounding" (of animal voices), "fine" (of weather), "handsome" (of dress), "pleasant-tasting" (of herbs). Merry-bout "an incident of sexual intercourse" was low slang from 1780. Merry-begot "illegitimate" (adj.), "bastard" (n.) is from 1785. Merrie England (now frequently satirical or ironic) is 14c. meri ingland, originally in a broader sense of "bountiful, prosperous." Merry Monday was a 16c. term for "the Monday before Shrove Tuesday" (Mardi Gras).