Word of the Day


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the feeling of being happy

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun happiness is formed from the adjective ‘happy’ and the suffix ‘-ness’, used to form nouns that refer to a state or quality. It was first used in English in the late 15th century.


As well as being the spring (or vernal) equinox in the northern hemisphere, March 20 has also been designated International Day of Happiness, a UN-supported event whose aim is to increase recognition that “progress should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy”. Each Happiness Day – this is the seventh – has a theme: this year’s is “Happier Together: focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us”. Individuals are invited to join the community by signing up to Action for Happiness and accepting the community’s pledge, which is try to create more happiness in the world around us.


“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Related words

pleasure, joy, delight

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

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