1 of 3


: having a humorous, whimsical, or odd quality
his dignified presence decorated our droll little quartersGwendolyn Brooks
drollness noun
drolly adverb


2 of 3


: an amusing person : jester, comedian


3 of 3


drolled; drolling; drolls

intransitive verb

: to make fun : jest, sport
drolling a little upon the corporalLaurence Sterne

Examples of droll in a Sentence

Adjective a droll little man with a peculiar sense of humor a book of droll stories Noun the drolls of late-night TV had a field day with that senator's sexual shenanigans
Recent Examples on the Web
So much of the ostensible plot of the series is broad and so much of the execution is quite droll. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2024 Coupled with the film’s frequently stagnant plot, his oppressive style results in an experience that somehow becomes simultaneously droll and monotonous. Lucas Trevor, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2023 Laced with winking cinephile references to the director’s auteur heroes, this deceptively modest film is both dour and droll, every frame finding beauty in a dingy milieu that seems frozen in time. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Dec. 2023 But Fincher’s antipathetic TV-commercial motifs are not well served by The Smiths catalogue — the most droll, unabashed petition for empathy of the past half century. Armond White, National Review, 17 Nov. 2023 Alongside Anatomy of a Fall, other best film nominees included Jonathan Glazer’s harrowing Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest, Aki Kaurismäki dark, droll Finnish love story Fallen Leaves, Matteo Garrone’s Io Capitano from Italy, and Agnieszka Holland’s Polish drama Green Border. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Dec. 2023 But the higher education sector is a fascinating prism through which to observe both stagnation and change in the region, and there is no better guide than this book, which is vintage Waterbury: comprehensive, thought provoking, and often droll. John Waterbury, Foreign Affairs, 11 Aug. 2020 The voice work by Aduba and Warren is alive with Rowe and Alexander’s droll ebullience and mutual, ornery affection. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Mar. 2023 Along with droll dialogue from Beaufoy and co-writer Alice Nutter (best known in the 20th century as a member of anarcho-pop band Chumbawamba), the show’s greatest asset is its lovable cast. Time, 14 June 2023
This season reaches its pinnacle of camp with a visit from Oscar Wilde himself (Jordan Sebastian Waller), who swans through a crowd of Manhattan elite dropping droll asides after the premiere of his first play, Vera; or, The Nihilists. EW.com, 27 Oct. 2023 Trillin’s droll manner has a lot to do with his gift for understatement. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 22 Jan. 2024 Throughout, Cudi’s uniquely droll and pitch-y voice, wavering between melodic humming and fervent spoken raps, is ever present. Mosi Reeves, Rolling Stone, 17 Jan. 2024 Pat Paulsen, a master of dry wit, delivered droll, double-talk editorials on social issues before mounting a presidential campaign in 1968 with the Straight Talkin’ American Government (STAG) Party. Fred A. Bernstein, Washington Post, 27 Dec. 2023 The company — which includes the excellent Francis Jue in the role of Paul Riesling, Babbitt’s best buddy, and the delightfully droll Julie Halson as a number of prominent Zenith women — is first-rate. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2023 In abandoning its original premise, the show—now a dramatic thriller punctuated by scenes of droll absurdism—became far truer to its characters and their inescapable existential dread. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 10 Dec. 2023 But rather the droll sarcasm that can lighten the pressure in a tense dressing room and make a game feel like a game again. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 8 Dec. 2023 Ruth Madeley plays Shirley Anne Bingham, a droll science advisor from UNIT, which guards the world — well, London at least — from extraterrestrial and paranormal threats. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'droll.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adjective, Noun, and Verb

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

First Known Use


1623, in the meaning defined above


circa 1645, in the meaning defined above


1654, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of droll was in 1623

Dictionary Entries Near droll

Cite this Entry

“Droll.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/droll. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: having an odd or amusing quality
drollness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on droll

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