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
To McDaniel's point, Depp is not the first celebrity to allude to --- whether in jest or in earnest -- the killing of President Trump.
A spokesman for Banks said the exchange was in jest and a lighthearted moment during a conversation about the president’s affection for the Hoosier state.
What the country really needs now is a king, some Brazilians say in jest.
But the two will have some competition: this climactic move has been re-enacted numerous times since the film was released, usually in jest.
Another staffer said Trump took Obama’s remarks to be made in jest.
In a small arena outside Mexico City, Ford encountered some novilleros (fighters who only battle young bulls) who invited her, half in jest, to train with them.
But even their jabs are in jest—this friendship is rooted in sincerity.
Payton said, perhaps only half in jest, while DePaul laughed.
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 1548See Words from the same year
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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