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 It can't be worn as a joke without reaching into some deep cultural and historical ugliness, without opening a wound of abuse and humiliation. Jason Parham, Wired, "TikTok and the Evolution of Digital Blackface," 4 Aug. 2020 On Capitol Hill, many Republicans brushed aside the president's remarks or discounted them as a joke, and insisted the presidential election will take place as planned on November 3. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Trump holds news conference after GDP takes worst-ever plunge due to coronavirus," 30 July 2020 McCusker became convinced that the People’s Army Jamboree -- Mulligan came up with the name as a joke -- could do something big at the American Legion convention, something that would move the needle. oregonlive, "Michael McCusker led 1970 Portland protests that terrified Oregon’s governor, sparked Vortex I; 50 years later, he still seeks truth," 13 July 2020 Amghar is cheerful and quick to joke, but some of his sarcasm hints at deep resentment. Aurelien Breeden, BostonGlobe.com, "For 20 years, his firm called him Antoine. Now Mohamed is suing.," 11 July 2020 It's become almost a joke, something to blame no matter what's going wrong. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Mercury Retrograde Doesn’t Deserve All The Hate," 10 July 2020 Downs briefly took over hosting duties in 1960 when Paar walked off of the show to protest NBC's censorship of a joke. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Hugh Downs, broadcasting legend and former 20/20 co-host, dies at 99," 2 July 2020 Meeting digitally in real time to gossip, joke, and share a meal over a videocall will light up the same endorphin pathways as a night out with friends. Rebecca Renner, National Geographic, "Why some people can't resist crowds despite the pandemic," 24 June 2020 The two men feuded on-air and online two years ago when Hannity objected to a Kimmel joke about Melania Trump's accent. CBS News, "Jimmy Kimmel apologizes for wearing blackface in past sketches," 23 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Cuomo siblings often joke around, poke fun at each other and have even attempted prop comedy. Fox News, "CNN ignored damning report on nursing home deaths in New York under Gov. Cuomo," 9 July 2020 Some of these specialists sound like Pepys, dying to laugh and joke inside a bar again. Pete Muller, National Geographic, "The second wave? Or a long first wave?," 15 June 2020 Its title became a meme format to joke about low-quality or terrible sequels, for example: Frankenstein 2: Electric Boogaloo, Lord of the Flies 2: Electric Boogaloo, or in this case a sequel to the civil war. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Who Are The Boogaloo Bois? These Hawaiian Shirt-Wearing, Gun-Toting Americans Want War," 19 June 2020 Had to laugh at his musical partner, Dan Polk, who joked that Dave wasn’t used to doing the talking! Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Residents and businesses trying to stay as ‘normal’ as possible during coronavirus pandemic: Whit & Whimsey," 3 Apr. 2020 The title was inspired partly by Beck’s son, who jokes that Johnny Cash’s songs are all about murder, trains, and Jesus. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "Johnny Cash’s Gospel," 9 Feb. 2020 Adams also directed the scheme and also joked about it. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Florida man pleads guilty in multi-million prescription fraud case at Alabama pharmacy," 11 May 2020 Her friends have joked that her house is the place to be if an apocalypse occurs. Madison Smalstig, USA Today, "95-year-old Texas woman won't let coronavirus wreck her birthday," 3 Apr. 2020 Shutdown orders across the nation prompted a flurry of half-joking speculation that Generation X, a cluster of former latchkey kids raised on pop culture that plumbed social alienation, was uniquely prepared to weather quarantining at home. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Generational Warfare in a Pandemic," 22 Apr. 2020

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

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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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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