hu·​mor·​ous ˈhyüm-rəs How to pronounce humorous (audio)
: full of or characterized by that quality which appeals to a sense of the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous : full of or characterized by humor : funny
humorous stories
shared a humorous anecdote
: possessing, indicating, or expressive of an ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny : possessing, indicating, or expressive of a sense of humor
a humorous writer
studied his own life … with a shrewd and humorous eyeHarrison Smith
obsolete : humid
humorously adverb
humorousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for humorous

witty, humorous, facetious, jocular, jocose mean provoking or intended to provoke laughter.

witty suggests cleverness and quickness of mind.

a witty remark

humorous applies broadly to anything that evokes usually genial laughter and may contrast with witty in suggesting whimsicality or eccentricity.

humorous anecdotes

facetious stresses a desire to produce laughter and may be derogatory in implying dubious or ill-timed attempts at wit or humor.

facetious comments

jocular implies a usually habitual fondness for jesting and joking.

a jocular fellow

jocose is somewhat less derogatory than facetious in suggesting habitual waggishness or playfulness.

jocose proposals

Examples of humorous in a Sentence

The book is very humorous. the humorous moments in an otherwise somber affair
Recent Examples on the Web The filmmakers shrewdly incorporate timely topics like fast fashion, food insecurity, toxic masculinity and privilege in a humorous, intelligent manner. Courtney Howard, Variety, 9 Apr. 2024 But the reality of the island is far less humorous than that. Gary Shteyngart, The Atlantic, 4 Apr. 2024 Their humorous meeting evolves into an electric connection. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Apr. 2024 The humorous moments are also punctuated by tender ones that showcase the camaraderie between the two coworkers, Rodriguez teases. Jessica Wang,, 3 Apr. 2024 The Texas Rangers took some humorous flak on opening day for the reveal of their championship banner which was wrinkled and slightly askew. Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 Mar. 2024 The talk was by turns humorous and serious, ending with all three donning sunglasses in the mostly dark music hall, a nod to the trademark Ray-Ban sunglasses that Biden often wears. Colleen Long, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2024 The humorous Fred Pitts as the acerbic and honest coach delights. David John Chávez, The Mercury News, 29 Mar. 2024 Before announcing her diagnosis on the show, some callers dialed in to guess why Paxton Hamel was absent, making a few humorous suggestions. Jeff A. Chamer, Charlotte Observer, 28 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


see humor entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of humorous was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near humorous

Cite this Entry

“Humorous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


hu·​mor·​ous ˈhyüm-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce humorous (audio)
: full of, characterized by, or expressing humor : droll
a humorous story
humorously adverb
humorousness noun

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