Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Happiness

Hap′pi-ness

,
Noun.
[From
Happy
.]
1.
Good luck; good fortune; prosperity.
All
happiness
bechance to thee in Milan!
Shakespeare
2.
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.
3.
Fortuitous elegance; unstudied grace; – used especially of language.
Happiness is generic, and is applied to almost every kind of enjoyment except that of the animal appetites; felicity is a more formal word, and is used more sparingly in the same general sense, but with elevated associations; blessedness is applied to the most refined enjoyment arising from the purest social, benevolent, and religious affections; bliss denotes still more exalted delight, and is applied more appropriately to the joy anticipated in heaven.
O
happiness
! our being’s end and aim!
Pope.
Others in virtue place
felicity
,
But virtue joined with riches and long life;
In corporal pleasures he, and careless ease.
Milton.
His overthrow heaped
happiness
upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the
blessedness
of being little.
Shakespeare

Webster 1828 Edition


Happiness

HAP'PINESS

,
Noun.
[from happy.] The agreeable sensations which spring from the enjoyment of good; that state of a being in which his desires are gratified, by the enjoyment of pleasure without pain; felicity; but happiness usually expresses less than felicity, and felicity less than bliss. Happiness is comparative. To a person distressed with pain, relief from that pain affords happiness; in other cases we give the name happiness to positive pleasure or an excitement of agreeable sensations. Happiness therefore admits of indefinite degrees of increase in enjoyment, or gratification of desires. Perfect happiness, or pleasure unalloyed with pain, is not attainable in this life.
2.
Good luck; good fortune.
3.
Fortuitous elegance; unstudied grace.
For there's a happiness as well as care.

Definition 2023


happiness

happiness

English

Noun

happiness (countable and uncountable, plural happinesses)

  1. (uncountable) The emotion of being happy; joy.
    • 1877, W. S. Gilbert, The Sorcerer
      Yes, Aline, true happiness comes of true love, and true love should be independent of external influences.
  2. (archaic, uncountable) prosperity, thriving, wellbeing.
    • 1776, United States Declaration of Independence
      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
  3. (archaic, uncountable) Good luck; good fortune.
  4. (obsolete, countable) Fortuitous elegance; unstudied grace; — used especially of language.
    Some beauties yet no precepts can declare, For there's a happiness, as well as care. — Alexander Pope.

Synonyms

Usage notes

Happiness is generic, and is applied to almost every kind of enjoyment.

Antonyms

Translations

References

  • happiness in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: obliged · ourselves · pale · #913: happiness · religion · dress · degree