com·​e·​dy | \ ˈkä-mə-dē How to pronounce comedy (audio) \
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


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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 So, too, have many political pundits’ belief that comedy is an effective way of criticizing the Trump administration. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Dangerous Naïveté of Coastal Elites," 12 Sep. 2020 The long-running comedy was especially popular in Black households and among Black women. Felecia Wellington Radel, USA TODAY, "'Girlfriends' at 20: Stars including Tracee Ellis Ross remember the series," 12 Sep. 2020 Earlier this year, and just one day after ABC said that black-ish had been pushed until midseason, the network later announced that the comedy would be back on the fall broadcast schedule. Nicholas Rice,, "ABC Developing Black-ish Spinoff Old-ish Starring Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis," 9 Sep. 2020 The 2019 black comedy is about a psychotherapist who leaves behind her profession to become a fiction writer using her former patients' stories -- and lurid details -- for source material. John Benson, cleveland, "‘Meeting the Beatles In India’ and ‘Sibyl’ top this week’s streaming movies in Cleveland Cinemas and Cinematheque virtual screening rooms," 9 Sep. 2020 Physical comedy is another genre that seems to work well, at least when conceived for the computer’s rectangle instead of the stage’s. Gilbert Cruz, New York Times, "Love Theater? Jesse Green Recommends Streaming Options," 1 Sep. 2020 Comedians thrive off a crowd's reactions, and improvisational comedy is nearly impossible without live audience feedback. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "Comedy goes online: 4 Arizona improv groups are streaming free shows. Here's how to watch," 22 Aug. 2020 The comedy, loosely based on the bumbling character Sudeikis once played in a series of NBC Sports promos, is the first streaming effort for Lawrence, who was once inextricably tied to broadcast. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "Bill Lawrence Sees the Upside of Streaming as He Launches AppleTV+ Show 'Ted Lasso'," 13 Aug. 2020 Another comedy set for Peacock's freshman class line-up is Rutherford Falls, from co-creators and executive producers Michael Schur, Ed Helms, and Sierra Teller Ornelas. Rosy Cordero,, "'Spread the word, ya friggin' turds': MacGruber TV series gets 8-episode order at Peacock," 10 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for comedy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for comedy

Last Updated

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Comedy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for comedy


How to pronounce comedy (audio)

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 How to pronounce comedy (audio) \
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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