Definition of jest
1 : a joking or mocking remark a clever jest
2a : prankb : a ludicrous circumstance or incident a proper jest, and never heard before, that Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth for costs and charges — William Shakespeare
3a : a frivolous mood or manner —usually used with in spoken in jestb : gaiety and merriment I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of excellent fancy — William Shakespeare
4 : laughingstock
Examples of jest in a Sentence
It was a harmless jest.
you should know that our teasing was done entirely in jest
Recent Examples of jest from the Web
What the country really needs now is a king, some Brazilians say in jest.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jest'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of jest
Middle English geste idle tale, story in verse, from Anglo-French, deed, action, narrative, from Latin gesta deeds, from neuter plural of gestus, past participle of gerere to bear, wage
First Known Use: circa 1548
Synonym Discussion of jest
JEST Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of jest for English Language Learners
: something said or done to cause laughter
JEST Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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