An example of glee is what you feel when you have just won the lottery.
- lively joy; gaiety; merriment
- an English part song for three or more unaccompanied, usually men's, voices
Origin of gleeMiddle English gle ; from Old English gleo, entertainment, merriment, akin to (rare) Old Norse glȳ ; from Indo-European an unverified form ghleu-, to be merry, jest ; from base an unverified form ghel-, to cry out from source Classical Greek chleuē, jest
- Jubilant delight; joy.
- Music A part song scored for three or more usually male and unaccompanied voices that was popular in the 1700s.
Origin of gleeMiddle English gle, entertainment, from Old English glēo; see ghel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural glees)
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.