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Merry vs Blithe vs Jocund vs Jovial vs Jolly

Merry, blithejocundjovialjolly mean indicating or showing high spirits or lightheartedness often in play and laughter.

Merry implies a gay, cheerful temper or mood and uninhibited enjoyment of frolic, festivity, or fun of any sort.

Blithe carries a stronger implication of freshness, buoyancy, and lightheartedness than merry; it usually suggests carefree, innocent, or even heedless gaiety.

Jocund heightens the implication of gladness and usually also connotes liveliness, exhilaration of spirits, or elation.

Jovial connotes especially good-fellowship or conviviality.

Jolly often suggests higher spirits than jovial and an even more manifest attempt to keep others laughing (as by jesting, bantering, and playing tricks).