Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The emotion of being happy; joy.
  • n. Good luck; good fortune; prosperity.
  • n. Fortuitous elegance; unstudied grace; — used especially of language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Good luck; good fortune; prosperity.
  • n. An agreeable feeling or condition of the soul arising from good fortune or propitious happening of any kind; the possession of those circumstances or that state of being which is attended with enjoyment; the state of being happy; contentment; joyful satisfaction; felicity; blessedness.
  • n. Fortuitous elegance; unstudied grace; -- used especially of language.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or quality of being happy.
  • n. Any state of being, having considerable permanence, in which pleasure decidedly predominates over pain.
  • n. Fortuitous aptness or fitness; an unstudied grace or beauty; felicitousness.
  • n. Synonyms Happiness, Felicity, Blessedness, Bliss; well-being, prosperity, welfare, enjoyment, comfort, security. Happiness, the generic word, is expressive of nearly every general state of pleasure. It is so far from its derivation that it is often expressive of that state of mind that triumphs over circumstances, finding material for contentment or even joy in that which might naturally produce deep unhappiness. Felicity is primarily a matter of favorable circumstances, which may be mere exemption from disaster or disagreeable experiences, or may be of a higher type, as domestic felicity depends not merely upon the comfort of the home, nor upon freedom from anxiety, but especially upon a high degree of mutual love. Blessedness is a state of the most refined happiness, arising from the purest and warmest benevolent and religious feeling. The type of its meaning is furnished by the use of the word blessed in the beatitudes, Mat. v. 3–11. Bliss is consummate happiness. See animation, mirth, hilarity, gladness.

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

  • n. emotions experienced when in a state of well-being
  • n. state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy

Etymologies

From happy +‎ -ness. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They even laughed at the possibility of their former happiness and called it a dream… but the strange and wonderful thing was that though they had lost faith in their former state of happiness… they longed so much to be happy and innocent once more that, like children, they succumbed to the desire of their hearts, glorified this desire, built temples, and began offering up prayers to their own idea, their own "desire," and at the same time firmly believed that it could not be realized and brought about, though they still worshipped and adored it with tears.

    A Special Supplement: The Other Dostoevsky

  • Children will profit from drill in and out of school in the science of avoiding offense and of giving happiness, but unless the categories -- _acts that give offense_ and _acts that give happiness_ -- are wide enough to include the main acts committed in the normal relations of son, companion, employer, husband, father, and citizen, those who set out to avoid alcohol and tobacco find themselves ill equipped to carry the obligations of a temperate, law-abiding citizen.

    Civics and Health

  • Patty at PerfumePosse had a great review of this where she wrote that it embodies happiness: a ..happiness that is complex and embraces all of life’s sorrow and joy.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • * I get a big kick out of the lifestyle and design blog Oh Happy Day -- partly because it's fun to read, and partly because when I was starting my book "The Happiness Project" and this blog, a good friend insisted that the phrase "happiness project" sounded like too much work, so I should re-name my blog "Oh Happy Day."

    Gretchen Rubin: QUIZ: Are You an 'Energizer' or a 'De-Energizer' at Work?

  • In fact, the word happiness has to do with happenings or things that happen.

    Living on the Edge

  • But I'm trying to find the best path, and telling me that every path someone uses to attain happiness is equally valid is the same as telling me that the trans-Siberian mall route is just as good as the "take a right" method.

    Woo... Hoo?

  • Hedonists have appropriated the term happiness as an equivalent to the totality of pleasurable or agreeable feeling.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • It is not, however, the less true that there is a proper object to aim at; and if this object be meant by the term happiness, the perfection of which consists in the exclusion of all hap [_i. e., _ chance], I assert that there is such a thing as _summum bonum_, or ultimate good.

    The World's Greatest Books — Volume 13 — Religion and Philosophy

  • "There is no highroad to what you term happiness," Wingrave answered.

    The Malefactor

  • Nor again does the image of Christ lead us to conceive of pleasure, or of what we term happiness, as specially appropriate to the Divine

    Sermons on Faith and Doctrine by the Late Benjamin Jowett, M.A., Master of Balliol College

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 'Happiness in intelligent people is one of the rarest things I know.' -Ernest Hemmingway

    February 18, 2008

  • Ooh, I like that! Thanks, oroboros.

    August 20, 2007

  • "Happiness is the only facelift." --Joni Mitchell

    August 20, 2007