Definitions

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

  • n. Jubilant delight; joy.
  • n. Music A part song scored for three or more usually male and unaccompanied voices that was popular in the 18th century.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Joy; merriment; mirth; gaiety; particularly, the mirth enjoyed at a feast.
  • n. Music; minstrelsy; entertainment.
  • n. An unaccompanied part song for three or more solo voices, not necessarily merry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Music; minstrelsy; entertainment.
  • n. Joy; merriment; mirth; gayety; paricularly, the mirth enjoyed at a feast.
  • n. An unaccompanied part song for three or more solo voices. It is not necessarily gleesome.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Exultant or playful exhilaration; demonstrative joy or delight; merriment; mirth; gaiety.
  • n. Music; minstrelsy. See gleeman.
  • n. A musical instrument.
  • n. In music, a composition for three or more solo voices, without accompaniment, usually in two or three contrasted movements, and adapted to any kind of metrical text, not necessarily joyful.
  • See gley.

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

  • n. great merriment
  • n. malicious satisfaction

Etymologies

Middle English gle, entertainment, from Old English glēo; see ghel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English gle, from Old English glēo, glīġ, glēow, glīw ("glee, pleasure, mirth, play, sport; music; mockery"), from Proto-Germanic *glīwan (“joy, mirth”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰlew- (“to joke, make fun, enjoy”). Cognate with Scots gle, glie, glew ("game, play, sport, mirth, joy, rejoicing, entertainment, melody, music"), Old Norse glȳ ("joy, glee, gladness"), Ancient Greek χλεύη (chleúē, "joke, jest, scorn"). A poetic word in Middle English, the word was obsolete by 1500, but revived late 18c. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • From The Ladykillers:
    "This is perfect. This is more than perfect. I can scarcely contain my glee."

    December 7, 2007

  • It is a feelgood word.

    December 6, 2007

  • Simply saying "glee" makes me feel gleeful.

    December 5, 2007