Hypertext Webster Gateway: "happiness"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Happiness \Hap"pi*ness\, n. [From {Happy}.]
1. Good luck; good fortune; prosperity.

All happiness bechance to thee in Milan! --Shak.

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 enjoyment; the state of being happy;
contentment; joyful satisfaction; felicity; blessedness.

3. Fortuitous elegance; unstudied grace; -- used especially
of language.

Some beauties yet no precepts can declare, For
there's a happiness, as well as care. --Pope.

Syn: {Happiness}, {Felicity}, {Blessedness}, {Bliss}.

Usage: 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. --Shak.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from
contentment to intense joy [syn: {felicity}] [ant: {unhappiness}]
2: emotions experienced when in a state of well-being [ant: {sadness}]

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