\ ˈdrōl \

Definition of droll

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a humorous, whimsical, or odd quality his dignified presence decorated our droll little quarters— Gwendolyn Brooks



Definition of droll (Entry 2 of 3)

: an amusing person : jester, comedian


drolled; drolling; drolls

Definition of droll (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to make fun : jest, sport drolling a little upon the corporal— Laurence Sterne

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Other Words from droll


drollness noun
drolly \ ˈdrō(l)-​lē \ adverb

Examples of droll in a Sentence


a droll little man with a peculiar sense of humor a book of droll stories


the drolls of late-night TV had a field day with that senator's sexual shenanigans
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Walton is magnetic as Julian, Grady is an attractive Peggy, and Ruth Gottschall (another TV face!) is droll as songwriter Maggie Jones. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Bucks County's '42nd Street': From Allentown (!) to Broadway, with great song and dance," 8 July 2018 Gadsby’s delivery, throughout the Netflix special, is both whimsical and droll. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "Nanette Rewrites the History of Art," 3 July 2018 Doomy chords from Daníel Bjarnason’s powerful score keep saying otherwise, but music has been known to be whimsical, droll or ironic. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Under the Tree’ Review: Neighbors at War," 5 July 2018 Gadsby’s droll, clever manner draws laughs with her screeds on the color blue and the way women figure into art history. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "How Hannah Gadsby Channeled Her Own Trauma, Bill Cosby and Monica Lewinsky in the New Netflix Comedy Special Nanette," 18 June 2018 So one of the biggest surprises about the Amazon three-parter is its breezy, eccentric, even droll tone. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "‘A Very English Scandal’ rips open a farce, and no one is spared," 27 June 2018 But the qualities Hollywood had overlooked — Ms. Morison’s skill as a mezzo-soprano, her droll presence, her feisty charisma — was on full display in the Porter show. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Patricia Morison, Broadway star of ‘Kiss Me, Kate,’ dies at 103," 20 May 2018 Leonard’s ear for dialogue and laconic style, along with a droll sense of humor and just enough field research, combined to make his crime novels endlessly entertaining (apologies for the adverb). Erik Spanberg, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Elmore Leonard: Westerns' celebrates Leonard's mastery of the genre," 5 June 2018 Nobody has seen anything like this from Will Power, normally so dry and droll, so unaffected. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Will Power was a dry, boring winner until he poured that Indy 500 milk," 27 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Providing vigorous supporting work are Skye Scott and the extra-droll Scott Stangland as stalwart members of the Stax house band. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "New jukebox musical 'Soul' delivers stacks of hits in vibrant production," 14 May 2018 But a frisky track with a rockabilly backbeat and droll, squiggly pedal-steel fills are her best chance at getting away with it. New York Times, "The Playlist: Justin Bieber Boosts a Friend, and 14 More New Songs," 6 Apr. 2018 Luckily, a couple of flight attendants from Air New Zealand are on hand to help him understand the Kiwi droll. Ruth Kinane, PEOPLE.com, "The 26 Best Holiday Commercials of 2017," 23 Dec. 2017 Pacek amuses in this role, enlivening his jokes with a droll, almost Beckettian delivery. Jim Rutter, Philly.com, "Spectacular staging offsets lackluster score of 'Something Wicked'," 24 Sep. 2017 In a droll, three-page ruling issued Friday, Judge Steven Merryday denied the motion filed by an assistant U.S. attorney. Tamara Lush, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Judge quotes Star Trek, Wordsworth, Carly Simon in nixing man's request to view eclipse," 22 Aug. 2017 Back then, free period called for dotting your hands with Crayola’s blue swirls and snowflake markers; now, Milk Makeup’s minimal star stamp provides a droll, upgraded version of that schoolyard beauty statement. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "27 Back-to-School Beauty Products Inspired by Your ’90s Classroom Staples," 24 Aug. 2017 In a droll, three-page ruling issued Friday, Judge Steven Merryday denied the motion filed by an assistant U.S. attorney. Tamara Lush, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Judge quotes Star Trek, Wordsworth, Carly Simon in nixing man's request to view eclipse," 22 Aug. 2017 In a droll, three-page ruling issued Friday, Judge Steven Merryday denied the motion filed by an assistant U.S. attorney. Tamara Lush, The Seattle Times, "Judge denies witness chance to view eclipse," 21 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'droll.' 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 droll


1623, in the meaning defined above


circa 1645, in the meaning defined above


1654, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for droll

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

French drôle, from drôle scamp, from Middle French drolle, from Middle Dutch, imp

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Time Traveler for droll

The first known use of droll was in 1623

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More Definitions for droll



English Language Learners Definition of droll

: having an odd and amusing quality


\ ˈdrōl \
droller; drollest

Kids Definition of droll

: having an odd or amusing quality a droll expression

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More from Merriam-Webster on droll

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with droll

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for droll

Spanish Central: Translation of droll

Nglish: Translation of droll for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about droll

Comments on droll

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


to gather or build up little by little

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