HAP'PINESS, n. [from happy.] The agreeable sensations which spring from the enjoyment of good ; that state of a being in which his desires are gratified, by the enjoyment of pleasure without pain ; felicity; but happiness usually expresses less than felicity, and felicity less than bliss. Happiness is comparative. To a person distressed with pain, relief from that pain affords happiness ; in other cases we give the name happiness to positive pleasure or an excitement of agreeable sensations. Happiness therefore admits of indefinite degrees of increase in enjoyment, or gratification of desires. Perfect happiness, or pleasure unalloyed with pain, is not attainable in this life.
2. Good luck ; good fortune. Johnson.
3. Fortuitous elegance ; unstudied grace.
For there's a happiness as well as care.
happiness -penás, -pán- n -ES (happy + -ness) 1 archaic : good fortune : good luck : PROSPERITY (all happiness bechance to thee —Shak.) 2 a (1) : a state of well-being characterized by relative permanence, by dominantly agreeable emotion ranging in value from mere contentment to deep and intense joy in living, and by a natural desire for its continuation (2) : a pleasurable or enjoyable experience (I had the prosperity of seeing you —W.S.Gilbert) b Aristotelianism : EUDAEMONIA 3 : APTNESS, FELICITY (his examples lack a striking of expression)
Syn FELICITY, BEATITUDE, BLESSEDNESS, BLISS: HAPPINESS is the general term denoting enjoyment of or pleasurable satisfaction in wellbeing, security, or fulfillment of wishes (pleasures may come about through chance contact and stimulation; such pleasures are not to be despised in a world full of pain. But happiness and delight are a different sort of thing. They come to be through a fulfillment that reaches to the depths of our being — one that is an adjustment of our whole being with the conditions of existence —John Dewey) FELICITY, a more bookish or elevated word, may denote a higher, more lasting, or more perfect happiness (all the felicity which a marriage of true affection could bestow —Jane Austen) (Jeticity or continued happiness consists not in having prospered, but in the process of prospering —Frank Thilly) BEATITUDE refers in this sense to the highest happiness, the felicity of the blessed (the years of loving sacrifice in scraping that boxful without letting Patty go short were amply crowned for John by this one moment. He sat down again in the corner wrapped in beatitude —Mary Webb) (a sense of deep beatitude — a strange sweet foretaste of Nirvana —Max Beerbohm) BLESSEDNESS suggests the deep joy of pure affection or of acceptance by a god (the blessedness of the saints) BLISS may apply to a complete and assured felicity (all my life's bliss from thy dear life was given —Emily Bronte) (now safely lodged in perfect bliss; and with spirits elated to rapture —Jane Austen)