see also: Jovial
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈdʒəʊ.vɪ.əl/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈdʒoʊ.vɪ.əl/


  1. (comparable) Cheerful and good-humoured; jolly, merry.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:happy
    Antonyms: saturnine, Thesaurus:sad
    • 1593, Gabriel Harvey, Pierces Supererogation: Or A New Prayse of the Old Asse, London: Imprinted by Iohn Wolfe, OCLC 165778203 ↗; republished as John Payne Collier, editor, Pierces Supererogation: Or A New Prayse of the Old Asse. A Preparative to Certaine Larger Discourses, Intituled Nashes S. Fame (Miscellaneous Tracts. Temp. Eliz. & Jac. I; no. 8), [London: [s.n.], 1870], OCLC 23963073 ↗, page 161 ↗:
      A melancholy boddy is not the kindeſt nurſe for a chearely minde, (the joviall complexion is ſoverainly beholding to nature,) [...]
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Democritvs Ivnior to the Reader”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗, page 57 ↗:
      The moſt ſecure, happy, Ioviall & merry in the worlds eſteeme, are Princes & great men, free from melancholy, but for their cares, miſeries, ſuſpicions, Iealoſies, diſcontents, folly, & madneſſe, I referre you to Xenophons Tyrannus, where king Hieron diſcourſeth at large with Simonides the Poet, of this ſubject.
    • But being ill-used by the above-mentioned widow, he was very serious for a year and a half; and though, his temper being naturally jovial, he at last got over it, he grew careless of himself, and never dressed afterwards.
    • 1843 December 18, Charles Dickens, “Stave Five. The End of It.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, […], OCLC 55746801 ↗, pages 154–155 ↗:
      Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!
    • 1905 January 12, Baroness Orczy [i.e., Emma Orczy], “Lord Grenville’s Ball”, in The Scarlet Pimpernel, London: Greening & Co., OCLC 51454043 ↗; The Scarlet Pimpernel: A Romance, popular edition, London: Greening & Co. Ltd., 20 March 1912, OCLC 235822313 ↗, page 115 ↗:
      A long, jovial, inane laugh broke the sudden silence which had fallen over everyone.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XXXIV, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071 ↗, page 267 ↗:
      She takes the whole thing with desperate seriousness. But the others are all easy and jovial—thinking about the good fare that is soon to be eaten, about the hired fly, about anything.
  2. (not comparable, astrology, obsolete) Pertaining to the astrological influence#Noun|influence of the planet Jupiter; having the characteristic#Noun|characteristics of a person under such influence (see sense 1).
Related terms Translations
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈdʒəʊ.vɪ.əl/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈdʒoʊ.vɪ.əl/

jovial (not comparable)

  1. (astronomy, obsolete) Pertaining to the planet Jupiter; Jovian.
  2. (Roman mythology, obsolete) Pertaining to the Roman#Adjective|Roman god Jove or Jupiter (the counterpart of the Greek#Adjective|Greek god Zeus), the god of the sky and thunder#Noun|thunder and the king#Noun|king of the gods; Jovian.
    • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene ii], page 390 ↗, column 1:
      I know the ſhape of's Legge: this is his Hand: / His Foote Mercuriall: his martiall Thigh / The brawnes of Hercules: but his Iouiall face— / Murther in heaven?

jovial (plural jovials)

  1. (chiefly, science fiction) An inhabitant of the planet Jupiter; a Jovian.

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