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 The studios were never very good at recognizing their enduring works of art, which, more often than not, were the romantic melodramas, loopy comedies, crime dramas, musicals, and Westerns that were overlooked as frivolous. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Oscars Predictions 2020: The Gulf Between Who Should Win and Who Will," 7 Feb. 2020 Even her longtime dream, stand-up comedy, seemed hopeless. Dave Murphy,, "How depression, anxiety and loneliness cut across the generations," 6 Feb. 2020 Second, Into the Canyon will appeal to those who enjoy fun, buddy-comedy sufferfests, which the filmmakers pull off easily: Fedarko, a writer, and McBride, a photographer and filmmaker, have been friends and collaborators for years. Erin Berger, Outside Online, "3 New(ish) Nature Documentaries You Need to Watch," 2 Feb. 2020 The international releases of the blockbuster movies, which include action-comedy Detective Chinatown 3 and the sports movie Leap, have also been postponed indefinitely. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "The coronavirus outbreak is crippling China’s film industry," 27 Jan. 2020 His moments of earnestness, mixed with genuine comedy and hopelessness, is what elevates the filmmaker’s already airtight film. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "12 Snubs and Surprises from the 2020 Oscar Nominations," 14 Jan. 2020 Golden Globe winner Awkwafina, who made history Sunday night as the first Asian women to win the award for best actress in a musical or comedy, was also excluded from the nominations as well as her breakout co-star Zhao Shuzhen. Chevaz Clarke, CBS News, "BAFTA Awards slammed for "infuriating" lack of diversity in nominations," 8 Jan. 2020 Splitting major categories into two sub-categories – drama, and musical or comedy -- gives Globes voters even more opportunity to slobber happily over works that probably won’t earn Oscar or Emmy nods. oregonlive, "Golden Globes 2020: Broadcast TV’s shutout spotlights the divide between viewer habits and awards buzz," 31 Dec. 2019 The 2011 romantic comedy, featuring a spellbinding cast, seeks to answer these queries. Jason Herbert, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Were the Best History Movies of the Decade?," 31 Dec. 2019

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

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Comedy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 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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