Someone who's jolly is extremely cheerful. Your jolly French teacher might spend a large part of each class laughing out loud at his own jokes — if only you understood French, you could laugh along with him.

Santa Claus might be the mythical figure best known for being jolly — he's especially famous for his jolly "Ho ho ho!" Anyone who tends to be merry or festive is jolly, and when you want to cheer up a less-than-jolly friend, you can jolly them, teasing or kidding until they smile. The Old French root is jolif, "festive, merry, or pretty."

Definitions of jolly
  1. adjective
    full of or showing high-spirited merriment
    “the jolly crowd at the reunion”
    jolly old Saint Nick”
    synonyms: gay, jocund, jovial, merry, mirthful
    full of or characterized by joy
  2. verb
    be silly or tease one another
    synonyms: banter, chaff, josh, kid
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    type of:
    bait, cod, rag, rally, razz, ride, tantalise, tantalize, taunt, tease, twit
    harass with persistent criticism or carping
  3. noun
    a happy party
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    type of:
    an occasion on which people can assemble for social interaction and entertainment
  4. adverb
    to a moderately sufficient extent or degree
    jolly decent of him”
    synonyms: fairly, middling, moderately, passably, pretty, reasonably, somewhat
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    immoderately, unreasonably
    to a degree that exceeds the bounds or reason or moderation
  5. noun
    a yawl used by a ship's sailors for general work
    synonyms: jolly boat
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    type of:
    a ship's small boat (usually rowed by 4 or 6 oars)
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