1. Excited with merriment; manifesting sportiveness or delight; inspiring delight; livery; merry. "Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay." (Pope) "Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed." (Gray)

2. Brilliant in colours; splendid; fine; richly dressed. "Why is my neighbor's wife so gay?" (Chaucer) "A bevy of fair women, richly gay In gems and wanton dress" (Milton)

3. Loose; dissipated; lewd.

Synonyms: Merry, gleeful, blithe, airy, lively, sprightly, sportive, light-hearted, frolicsome, jolly, jovial, joyous, joyful, glad, showy, splendid, vivacious.

Origin: F. Gai, perhaps fr. OHG. Ghi swift, rapid, G. Gah, jah, steep, hasty; or cf. OHG. Whi beatiful, good. Cf. Jay.

(01 Mar 1998)

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