joke

noun
\ ˈjōk \

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

c : practical joke

d : laughingstock

2 : something not to be taken seriously : a trifling matter consider his skiing a joke —Harold Callender often used in negative constructions it 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 \ adverb

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 Republican leaders would either gossip or joke about Rohrabacher and Trump in the same breath indicated a deep concern about the man who — as none of them expected at the time — would go on to win the presidency. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 Some top-to-bottom stellar acting and more twists than an Auntie Anne's kiosk make This Is Us more than an extended Crock Pot joke. Tom Philip, GQ, "The Best Movies/TV to Stream on Hulu This July 4," 3 July 2018 Once a national punchline for jokes, Cleveland is thriving with new hotels, shops, condominiums and trendy microbreweries popping up on both sides of the Cuyahoga River. Tom Withers, The Seattle Times, "Down town: Cleveland hurting after LeBron chooses LA, Lakers," 2 July 2018 The joke was on them Boy fell 30-60 feet down a steep NC waterfall — and lived Anyone with information is asked to call the Rowan County Sheriff's Office at 704-216-8700 or Crime Stoppers at 866-639-5245. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Vandal left disgusting and smelly surprise on pastor’s chair at church, NC police say," 11 July 2018 While restaurant goers on Twitter definitely had feelings...and a lot of jokes about IHOB’s new name, the eatery assured fans pancakes would remain on the menu. Britni Danielle, Essence.com, "IHOP Changed Its Name To IHOB And Folks Had A Lot To Say About It," 11 June 2018 Although Melania made no remarks during the event, the Post reported, Trump had plenty of jokes about her prolonged absence. Emily Wang, Teen Vogue, "Melania Trump Made an Appearance at the White House After an Almost Month-Long Absence," 5 June 2018 The stadium, which locals joke resembles an air filter from an old Lada car, is surrounded by water from two sides. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Peeking Around Corners in the World Cup’s Provincial Cities," 14 July 2018 But a couple of decades later, the joke has lost a bit of its zing. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By Monday evening, The Washington Post reported that the kids were laughing and joking. J. Weston Phippen, Outside Online, "The Daring Rescue that Saved the Thai Soccer Team," 10 July 2018 The eight boys who emerged Sunday and Monday are laughing and joking, doctors say, an incredible result. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "The Thailand cave rescue is complete, and more on the Supreme Court | Tuesday Morning Brief, July 10," 10 July 2018 The two players came face to face in a light-hearted interview with The Players' Tribune where the pair were seen laughing and joking throughout. SI.com, "Gerard Pique Claims James Rodriguez Fits the 'Barça Profile' & Calls on Midfielder to Join Club," 25 June 2018 About two months after making a game-changing mistake at the end of regulation in the Cavaliers’ devastating Game 1 overtime loss to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, J.R. Smith is now joking and laughing about it. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "J.R. Smith joked about his NBA Finals Game 1 mistake on Instagram," 10 July 2018 Brown joked after Tuesday’s summer-league practice at Dula Gym. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Dwane Casey puts stamp on Detroit Pistons 2018 free-agent class," 10 July 2018 Still, the budding friendship hasn't stopped either man from taking good-natured jabs at the other, jokes that in hindsight might have been made with this match in mind. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Report: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Planning $10 Million, Winner-Take-All Match," 6 July 2018 Mnangagwa, who has joked openly about multiple attempts on his life in the past, said he was used to them by now. Farai Mutsaka, USA TODAY, "A ‘cowardly act:’ Authorities say explosion was assassination attempt on Zimbabwe leader," 23 June 2018 Rose's friends and family have described Rose as a teen who volunteered at a local charity, who took honors classes, who always joked and entertained younger kids and who would show up at job interviews wearing a three-piece suit. Fox News, "Lawyer: empty gun clip irrelevant in teen's fatal shooting," 22 June 2018

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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Learn More about joke

Dictionary Entries near joke

joisting

jojoba

jo-jotte

joke

jokebook

jokeless

jokelet

Statistics for joke

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for joke

The first known use of joke was in 1670

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More Definitions for joke

joke

noun

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

: 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 \

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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Comments on joke

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