• (RP) IPA: /ˈdʒɒli/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈdʒɑli/

jolly (comparative jollier, superlative jolliest)

  1. Full of merriment and high spirits; jovial.
  2. Full of life and mirth; jouous; merry.
    • 1815, William Wordsworth, "Hart-Leap Well," Part Second:
      "A jolly place," said he, "in times of old! / But something ails it now: the spot is curst. ..."
  3. (colloquial) Splendid, excellent, pleasant
    • 1853, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, ch. 16:
      Jo silently notices how white and small her hand is and what a jolly servant she must be to wear such sparkling rings.
  4. (colloquial) Large
    • 1590, Edmund Spencer, "The Faerie Queene", Book I, Canot 2, xi-xii:
      "Full jolly Knight he seemed ... full large of limb and every joint / He was, and cared not for God or man a point."
    • 1819, Washington Irving, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., "The Stage Coach":
      ... he is swelled into jolly dimensions by frequent potations of malt liquors ...

jolly (plural jollies)

  1. (British, dated) A pleasure trip or excursion.
  2. (slang, dated) A marine in the English navy.
    Synonyms: joey
    • I'm a Jolly — 'Er Majesty's Jolly — soldier an' sailor too!


  1. (British, dated) very, extremely
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 37:
      Adrian thought it worth while to try out his new slang. ‘I say, you fellows, here's a rum go. Old Biffo was jolly odd this morning. He gave me a lot of pi-jaw about slacking and then invited me to tea. No rotting! He did really.’

jolly (jollies, present participle jollying; past and past participle jollied)

  1. (transitive) To amuse or divert.

Proper noun
  1. A female given name
  2. Surname

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