Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “jolly”

jolly

adjective uk   /ˈdʒɒl.i/ us    /ˈdʒɑː.li/

jolly adjective (HAPPY)

happy and smiling: a jolly smile/manner/mood She's a very jolly, upbeat sort of a person.Feeling pleasure and happinessTaking pleasure in something

jolly adjective (ENJOYABLE)

old-fashioned enjoyable, energetic, and entertaining: a jolly occasion We spent a very jolly evening together, chatting and drinking.Causing pleasure

jolly adjective (ATTRACTIVE)

bright and attractive: I love the bright yellow you've painted the children's room - it makes it look really jolly.AttractiveSexual attractionSmart and elegant

jolly

adverb uk   /ˈdʒɒl.i/ us    /ˈdʒɑː.li/ UK old-fashioned informal
very: That's a jolly nice scarf you're wearing.Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions

jolly

verb [T + adv/prep] uk   /ˈdʒɒl.i/ us    /ˈdʒɑː.li/ informal
to encourage someone to do something by putting that person in a good mood and persuading them gently: I'll try to jolly my parents into letting me borrow the car this weekend. She didn't really want to go to the party, so we had to jolly her along a bit.Urging and persuadingCausing somebody to act
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of jolly from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of jolly?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “jolly” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

aptitude

a natural ability or skill

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More