(countable and uncountable, plural glees)
- (uncountable) Joy; merriment; mirth; gaiety; particularly, the mirth enjoyed at a feast.
- (uncountable) Music; minstrelsy; entertainment.
- (music, countable) An unaccompanied part song for three or more solo voices, not necessarily merry.
From Middle English gle, from Old English glēo, glīġ, glēow, glīw (“glee, pleasure, mirth, play, sport; music; mockery”), from Proto-Germanic *glīwą (“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.