adjective, jol·li·er, jol·li·est.
- in good spirits; lively; merry: In a moment he was as jolly as ever.
- cheerfully festive or convivial: a jolly party.
- joyous; happy: Christmas is a jolly season.
- Chiefly British Informal. delightful; charming.
- Informal.great; thorough: a jolly blunderer.
- Slang.slightly drunk; tipsy.
verb (used with object), jol·lied, jol·ly·ing.
- Informal. to talk or act agreeably to (a person) in order to keep that person in good humor, especially in the hope of gaining something (usually followed by along): They jollied him along until the job was done.
verb (used without object), jol·lied, jol·ly·ing.
- Informal. to jolly a person; josh; kid.
noun, plural jol·lies.
- Informal. the practice or an instance of jollying a person.
- Usually jollies. Informal. pleasurable excitement, especially from or as if from something forbidden or improper; thrills; kicks: He gets his jollies from watching horror movies.
- British Informal. extremely; very: He’ll jolly well do as he’s told.
adjective -lier or -liest
- full of good humour; jovial
- having or provoking gaiety and merrymaking; festive
- greatly enjoyable; pleasing
- British (intensifier)you’re jolly nice
verb -lies, -lying or -lied (tr) informal
- (often foll by up or along) to try to make or keep (someone) cheerful
- to make goodnatured fun of
- informal, mainly British a festivity or celebration
- informal, mainly British a trip, esp one made for pleasure by a public official or committee at public expense
- British slang a Royal Marine
c.1300 (late 13c. as a surname), from Old French jolif “festive, merry, amorous, pretty” (12c.) of uncertain origin (cf. Italian giulivo “merry, pleasant”).
Perhaps a Germanic loan-word from a source akin to Old Norse jol “a winter feast” (see yule), or from Latin gaudere “to rejoice,” from PIE *gau- “to rejoice” (see joy). For loss of -f, cf. tardy, hasty. Related: Jollily; jolliness.