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SAT vocabulary: jovial

What does jovial mean? You’re about to find out!

Quick Vocab Quiz for the word jovial

First, before you read the explanation, definition, and discussion of the word jovial, try this quick vocab quiz:

jovial most nearly means

(A) gleeful (B) mad (C) sad (D) radical (E) unstable

(Answer is below.)

Part of Speech: ADJECTIVE

Pronunciations: IPA: /ˈdʒoʊ.vi.əl/ Glossary-style: [JO-vee-uhl]

Definition: characterized by good humor, happiness, and jollity. relating to Jove, Zeus, or the planet Jupiter.

Give it to me straight: If a person is jovial, then she or he is very happy, friendly, outgoing, cheerful, and jolly. For whatever reason, we often think of older chubby men with big, rosy smiles as jovial (e.g., Santa Claus). Of course, jovial is related to the Greek god Jove (a.k.a. Zeus).

Example: The man wearing a Santa Claus costume was so jovial and spirited that he made all the children believe he was the real Saint Nick.

Answer to the quick quiz above:

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