jest

noun \ ˈjest \

Definition of jest

1 :a joking or mocking remark
  • a clever jest
2 a :prank
b :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
3 a :a frivolous mood or manner usually used with in
  • spoken in jest
b :gaiety and merriment
  • I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of excellent fancy
  • —William Shakespeare

jest

verb

Examples of jest in a Sentence

  1. It was a harmless jest.

  2. you should know that our teasing was done entirely in jest

Recent Examples of jest from the Web

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

Synonym Discussion of jest

fun, jest, sport, game, play mean action or speech that provides amusement or arouses laughter. fun usually implies laughter or gaiety but may imply merely a lack of serious or ulterior purpose.
    • played cards just for fun
jest implies lack of earnestness and may suggest a hoaxing or teasing.
    • hurt by remarks said only in jest
sport applies especially to the arousing of laughter against someone.
    • teasing begun in sport led to anger
game is close to sport, and often stresses mischievous or malicious fun.
    • made game of their poor relations
play stresses the opposition to earnest without implying any malice or mischief.
    • pretended to strangle his brother in play


JEST Defined for English Language Learners

jest

noun

Definition of jest for English Language Learners

  • : something said or done to cause laughter


JEST Defined for Kids

1

jest

noun \ ˈjest \

Definition of jest for Students

1 :a comic act or remark :joke
2 :a playful mood or manner
  • He spoke of his adventure in jest.

2

jest

verb

Definition of jest for Students

jested; jesting
:to make comic remarks :joke


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