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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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

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement wrote, directed, and starred in the horror-comedy, playing vampire roommates Vladislav (Clement) and Viago (Waititi) in Wellington, New Zealand. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Vampires navigate NYC in first teasers for What We Do in the Shadows," 1 Nov. 2018 The adorable Netflix original romantic comedy starring Joey King, Molly Ringwald, Joel Courtney and Jacob Elordi centers around a girl who must confront her crush at a kissing booth. Sarah Grace Hart, Teen Vogue, "Netflix Turned "The Kissing Booth" Trailer Into a Horror Movie," 30 Oct. 2018 Garner is currently starring in the new HBO comedy, Camping, opposite David Tennant. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Garner Reportedly Has a New Boyfriend Following Her Divorce from Ben Affleck," 24 Oct. 2018 The episodes take place in different places, and there are also different genres: there’s a fairy tale, a black comedy, a horror movie, a film noir, and so on. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Matthew Weiner Says Being a Romanoff Is "Almost Like Saying You’re a Kennedy"," 14 Oct. 2018 Shalhoub has been a working actor for decades now, with his most famous roles being Primo in the 1996 Italian food film Big Night and Adrian Monk in Monk, the aughts comedy-drama about a detective with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "I Simply Love Tony Shalhoub," 19 June 2018 Family Flicks Director Penny Marshall’s 1992 comedy-drama, A League of Their Own, about the World War II-era All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, stars Geena Davis and Lori Petty as highly competitive sisters. Kathleen Craughwell,, "The Moviegoer, June 17-23," 15 June 2018 Bernard and Huey: This comedy-drama is based on a decades-old, unproduced script by cartoonist and writer Jules Feiffer, focusing on two college-age men, obsessive womanizers, who meet again after 25 years. Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle, "New movies: Some to check out are ‘Hotel Artemis,’ ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Ocean’s 8’," 5 June 2018 The comedy-drama alludes to how, following pregnancy, women have reported experiencing a whole host of changes, including hair loss, depression, dry skin and hot flashes. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "It’s True—After Giving Birth, Women’s Voices Temporarily Drop," 1 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

19 Nov 2018

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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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Comments on comedy

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


by force of circumstances

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