joke

noun
\ ˈjōk How to pronounce joke (audio) \

Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something said or done to provoke laughter especially : a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist
b(1) : the humorous or ridiculous element in something
(2) : an instance of jesting : kidding can't take a joke
2 : something not to be taken seriously : a trifling matter consider his skiing a joke— Harold Callender often used in negative constructionsit is no joke to be lost in the desert

joke

verb
joked; joking

Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make the object of a joke : kid

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Other Words from joke

Verb

jokingly \ ˈjō-​kiŋ-​lē How to pronounce jokingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for joke

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of joke in a Sentence

Noun She meant it as a joke, but many people took her seriously. They played a harmless joke on him. They are always making jokes about his car. I heard a funny joke yesterday. the punch line of a joke I didn't get the joke. That exam was a joke. Their product became a joke in the industry. He's in danger of becoming a national joke. Verb My friends would joke about the uniform I had to wear at work. She joked about the possibility of losing her job. I thought he was joking when he said he might quit, but it turned out that he really meant it. Don't take it seriously: I was only joking. She spent a few minutes joking with reporters after giving her speech. She joked that she could always get work as a truck driver if she lost her job.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That 300Hz is also no joke: Say goodbye to screen tearing and lagging. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Tech From IFA 2019," 10 Sep. 2019 Where’s the part about his bad jokes, his warmth, his cute bald spot shaped like Wisconsin? Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Woman can’t seem to break up with boyfriend who bores her," 31 Aug. 2019 Her latest slew of jokes? Poking fun at herself for being the opposite of the life of the party. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Joanna Gaines Trolls Herself on Instagram During Her Fall Magnolia Shoot," 29 Aug. 2019 Rick RowellGetty Images The fence jump was no joke for him. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Colton Underwood Revealed 'The Bachelor' Secrets on 'This American Life'," 19 Aug. 2019 Choose your jokes and anecdotes carefully based on your audience to avoid offending anyone. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for Aug. 16, 2019: Happy birthday Cameron Monaghan; Sagittarius, connect with many new people," 16 Aug. 2019 Twitter users became besotted with its imagery, and seemingly within three to five minutes, sent their feral hog jokes running across timelines everywhere. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "How '30-50 Feral Hogs' Became the New 'Thoughts and Prayers'," 6 Aug. 2019 Maybe that's part of the joke that rich people are playing on us all. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Off-White’s Latest Bag Literally Invites You to Rob It," 26 July 2019 Despite the hilarity that has ensued, officials with the U.S. Air Force are warning the public that storming the base is no joke. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Adoptable dogs dressed in alien costumes want you to storm their shelters, not Area 51," 22 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whether explaining complex political issues or poking fun at Vice President Mike Pence’s views on LGBT rights by inventing a children’s book about Pence’s pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo, Oliver excels at explaining things while also joking about them. oregonlive, "John Oliver, no stranger to Oregon jokes, returns to Portland for stand-up comedy shows," 11 Sep. 2019 Baer, noting the rainstorm outside, joked that Trump’s weather maps may now include Colorado. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Hickenlooper trades presidential primary stage for Durango library," 7 Sep. 2019 The outrage about this particular tweet is reminiscent of the Sarah Jeong controversy of last year, in which Jeong’s joking tweets about white people were weaponized by the right-wing media to try and get her fired—or worse. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Breitbart News Is the Real Mustering of Digital Jacobins," 6 Sep. 2019 Bullock wrote a listicle of Dad jokes for Buzzfeed. NBC News, "They're telling us there's a chance: Why the debate nonqualifiers won't quit (yet)," 12 Sep. 2019 But there's some consternation and jokes out there. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "Colts aren't worried about Adam Vinatieri, but he gets the Twitter treatment," 8 Sep. 2019 The question was meant as a joking reference to a relatively recent phenomenon: The media’s charting of practice statistics and the public’s sometimes hysterical reaction to them. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "49ers still unsure what they have in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo," 6 Sep. 2019 When the predictable outrage ensued, the White House alleged that Trump was joking, their usual go-to response when he is caught out saying something particularly repulsive and criminal. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Impeachable Offenses Alert!," 1 Sep. 2019 Safeties and special teams coach Chris Partridge joked Wednesday that Hill wasn't yet where Partridge wanted him to be — because Partridge wants Hill to be an All-American. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Why Michigan football's Daxton Hill has plenty of routes to playing time," 29 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'joke.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of joke

Noun

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1670, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for joke

Noun

Latin jocus; perhaps akin to Old High German gehan to say, Sanskrit yācati he asks

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Statistics for joke

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for joke

The first known use of joke was in 1670

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More Definitions for joke

joke

noun
How to pronounce joke (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something said or done to cause laughter
: a brief story with a surprising and funny ending
disapproving : someone or something that is not worth taking seriously

joke

verb

English Language Learners Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say things that are meant to cause laughter : to make jokes about someone or something

joke

noun
\ ˈjōk How to pronounce joke (audio) \

Kids Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something said or done to cause laughter or amusement They hid his shoes as a joke.
2 : a very short story with a funny ending that is a surprise The boys sat around telling jokes.
3 : something not worthy of being taken seriously Her excuse was a joke.

joke

verb
joked; joking

Kids Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to say or do something to cause laughter or amusement
2 : to make funny remarks The children joked about my cooking.

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More from Merriam-Webster on joke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for joke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joke

Spanish Central: Translation of joke

Nglish: Translation of joke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of joke for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about joke

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