c. 1200, "feeling of pleasure and delight;" c. 1300, "source of pleasure or happiness," from Old French joie "pleasure, delight, erotic pleasure, bliss, joyfulness" (11c.), from Latin gaudia "expressions of pleasure; sensual delight," plural of gaudium "joy, inward joy, gladness, delight; source of pleasure or delight," from gaudere "rejoice," from PIE root *gau- "to rejoice" (cognates: Greek gaio "I rejoice," Middle Irish guaire "noble").
As a term of endearment from 1580s. Joy-riding is American English, 1908; joy-ride (n.) is from 1909.
late 14c., overjoien, "to rejoice over, gloat" (a sense now obsolete), from over- + joy (q.v.); translating Latin supergaudere (in Psalms xxxiv, etc.). Transitive sense of "to fill with gladness, give great or extreme joy to" is recorded from 1570s (now usually in past participle overjoyed). Middle English also had a verb overmirthen "rejoice" (c. 1400).
Restricted sense of "precious stone, gem" developed in English from early 14c. Figurative meaning "beloved person, admired woman" is late 14c. Colloquial family jewels "testicles" is from 1920s, but jewel as "testicle" dates to late 15c. Jewel-case is from 1753.
Also in Middle English "a jest, prank, trick" (late 14c.); "a deception, fraud, artifice" (mid-14c.). As a verb, "to furnish with gauds," from late 14c. Related: Gauded; gauding; gaudful; gaudless.