Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

joke

play
noun \ˈjōk\

Simple Definition of joke

  • : something said or done to cause laughter

  • : a brief story with a surprising and funny ending

  • : someone or something that is not worth taking seriously

Full Definition of joke

  1. 1 a :  something said or done to provoke laughter; especially :  a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist b (1) :  the humorous or ridiculous element in something (2) :  an instance of jesting :  kidding <can't take a joke> c :  practical joke d :  laughingstock

  2. 2 :  something not to be taken seriously :  a trifling matter <consider his skiing a joke — Harold Callender> —often used in negative constructions <it is no joke to be lost in the desert>

Examples of joke

  1. She meant it as a joke, but many people took her seriously.

  2. They played a harmless joke on him.

  3. They are always making jokes about his car.

  4. I heard a funny joke yesterday.

  5. the punch line of a joke

  6. I didn't get the joke.

  7. That exam was a joke.

  8. Their product became a joke in the industry.

  9. He's in danger of becoming a national joke.



Origin of joke

Latin jocus; perhaps akin to Old High German gehan to say, Sanskrit yācati he asks


First Known Use: 1670


2

joke

verb

Simple Definition of joke

  • : to say things that are meant to cause laughter : to make jokes about someone or something

Full Definition of joke

jokedjok·ing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to make jokes :  jest

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to make the object of a joke :  kid

jok·ing·ly play \ˈjō-kiŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of joke

  1. My friends would joke about the uniform I had to wear at work.

  2. She joked about the possibility of losing her job.

  3. I thought he was joking when he said he might quit, but it turned out that he really meant it.

  4. Don't take it seriously: I was only joking.

  5. She spent a few minutes joking with reporters after giving her speech.

  6. She joked that she could always get work as a truck driver if she lost her job.



1670

First Known Use of joke

1670



JOKINGLY Defined for Kids

jokingly

adverb jok·ing·ly \ˈjō-kiŋ-lē\

Definition of jokingly

  1. :  in a manner that is not meant to be taken seriously <He jokingly told us to leave.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up joke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet spindrift pince-nez kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ