Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by hearty conviviality and good cheer: a jovial host.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to Jove or Zeus; Jovian.
  • adj. Pertaining to the planet Jupiter; Jovian.
  • adj. Under the influence of the planet Jupiter (considered a source of happiness).
  • adj. Merry; cheerful and good-humored.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the god, or the planet, Jupiter.
  • adj. Sunny; serene.
  • adj. Gay; merry; joyous; jolly; mirth-inspiring; hilarious; characterized by mirth or jollity

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or characteristic of the god Jove or Jupiter; Jove-like; powerful; majestic: as, Jovial attributes.
  • Of or pertaining to the planet Jupiter: as, the Jovial satellites.
  • In astrology, under the influence of the planet Jupiter; derived from Jupiter as a natal planet, which, like Jove himself, was regarded as the source of joy and happiness: as, the Jovial temperament.
  • Hence [lowercase] Characterized by cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous; merry; jolly: opposed to grave: as, a jovial fellow.
  • [lowercase] In alchemy, of or pertaining to tin.
  • Synonyms Mirthful, etc. See jolly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. full of or showing high-spirited merriment

Etymologies

French, probably from Italian giovale, from Old Italian, of Jupiter (regarded as the source of happiness), from Late Latin Ioviālis, from Latin Iuppiter, Iov-, Jupiter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French jovial, from Italian gioviale, from Latin ioviālis, from Iovis ("Jove"), i.e. Jupiter, the planet which was thought by astrologers to bring jollity. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When I go to a doctor or other medical professional, I'm not interested in "jovial and informal" because it is NOT A SOCIAL CALL.

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  • He was described as "jovial" and "down to earth," a good communicator with a sense of humor.

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  • But who shall do justice to the dinner, and describe the turkey, and chickens, and chicken pies, with all that endless variety of vegetables which the American soil and climate have contributed to the table, and which, without regard to the French doctrine of courses, were all piled together in jovial abundance upon the smoking board?

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  • Bobby Jindal has enough problems in his state to keep him busy for awhile and Mike Huckabee seems to be known as a jovial and cheerful talk show host more than a serious presidential candidate at the moment.

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  • During the break a jovial Simpson talked outside the courtroom about golf and college football.

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  • It is eminently in accordance with the signification of the English epithet -- rather a favorite, apparently, with our old writers -- the epithet jovial, which is derived from the Latin name of its head.

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  • Late hours, heavy dinners, the indulgence of what are called jovial hours, and crowded parties, would soon have sent us whither they have sent so many of our literary contemporaries, long, long ago.

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  • For several years Free Joe had what may be called a jovial time.

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  • The effect in front was the face of a nondescript monster, that only a gleeful laughing eye, and now and then a flash of narrow white teeth, identified as the jovial Amoyah, the Pigeon of Ioco.

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  • He was naturally of an excitable -- what we may call a jovial -- jumping -- disposition, and, although he had now been some months at sea, he had not yet succeeded in crushing down that burst of delight with which he viewed the cod-end of the great deep-sea net as it was hoisted over the side by the power of block and tackle.

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