com·​e·​dy | \ ˈkä-mə-dē \
plural comedies

Definition of comedy

1a : a medieval narrative that ends happily Dante's Divine Comedy
b : a literary work written in a comic style or treating a comic theme the ancient Roman comedies of Plautus
2a : a drama of light and amusing character and typically with a happy ending a comedy about parenthood
b : the genre of dramatic literature dealing with the comic or with the serious in a light or satirical manner — compare tragedy
3 : a ludicrous or farcical event or series of events a comedy of errors
4a : the comic element the comedy of many life situations
b : humorous entertainment nightclub comedy

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Synonyms for comedy


farce, humor, slapstick

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Examples of comedy in a Sentence

The new comedy is the network's most popular television show. The movie includes a lot of physical comedy. We couldn't help laughing out loud at the comedy of the situation.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The 18-year-old spends hours each day flipping through music videos, comedy skits, gaming clips and his favorite fashion and entertainment vlogs. Eric Bellman, WSJ, "Indians Are Binge-Watching Mobile Videos, Pushing YouTube, Others to Innovate," 21 Jan. 2019 Jacki Weaver also stars in the comedy about retirement community cheerleaders. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman Join Diane Keaton in 'Poms'," 12 July 2018 Your act tends to have a positive outlook, which seems rare in comedy now. Nick Vadala,, "Comedian Ron Funches just lost 140 pounds. He's still going to eat a cheesesteak when he's in Philly," 10 July 2018 Those fed up with watching their hundredth Hugh Grant romantic comedy might have other options, however, if face-swapping technology can be made to work on the fly. The Economist, "What if AI made actors immortal?," 5 July 2018 In comedy, characters and not jokes are most important, Ricky Gervais says. Hal Boedeker,, "CNN's '2000s' sends love letter to HBO," 4 July 2018 Even women wrestling’s more titillating history is getting the serious treatment, albeit through the lens of comedy. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "Women’s wrestling now spotlights athleticism and skills over looks," 3 July 2018 According to reports, Friedland used the word while in a meeting about offensive language in comedy, and later used the racial slur again while sitting with two Black employees and HR about the first incident., "The Quick Read: Maxine Waters Calls For The Public To ‘Push Back’ On Trump Administration," 25 June 2018 But at least fart humor, unlike so many other topics in comedy, hasn't become politicized. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Review: At Milwaukee gig, Tim Allen shows why 'Last Man Standing' will be a hit once again," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comedy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of comedy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for comedy

Middle English, from Medieval Latin comoedia, from Latin, drama with a happy ending, from Greek kōmōidia, from kōmos revel + aeidein to sing — more at ode

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Statistics for comedy

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for comedy

The first known use of comedy was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for comedy



English Language Learners Definition of comedy

: a play, movie, television program, novel, etc., that is meant to make people laugh
: things that are done and said to make an audience laugh : comic entertainment
: the funny or amusing part of something


com·​e·​dy | \ ˈkä-mə-dē \
plural comedies

Kids Definition of comedy

1 : an amusing play that has a happy ending
2 : an amusing and often ridiculous event

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More from Merriam-Webster on comedy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with comedy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for comedy

Spanish Central: Translation of comedy

Nglish: Translation of comedy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of comedy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about comedy

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