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 Falwell later insisted that the photo was merely a joke. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Giancarlo Granda says the Falwells have been 'relentlessly harassing' him since sex scandal became public," 9 Sep. 2020 Your friend asking if this devastating news was somehow a joke, however, was not. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Informing people of an unexpected death," 4 Sep. 2020 However, when fans began flooding the comment section with congratulatory messages, Lynn explained that her post was actually a joke. Gabrielle Chung, PEOPLE.com, "Loretta Lynn Has Fans Convinced She Got Married to Kid Rock: 'Sorry Girls, He's Taken Now'," 1 Sep. 2020 While the photo was intended to be a joke, the image still manages to fool some during almost every natural disaster that involves flooding. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Photo of shark on a flooded highway is faked," 28 Aug. 2020 Weeks before her death, an El Paso mother received millions of views on her public message saying COVID-19 isn't a joke and pleading with people to never take the little things for granted. Shacamree Gowdy, Houston Chronicle, "'It's not a joke': El Paso mom warned others about COVID-19 before dying from virus weeks later," 24 Aug. 2020 Far from being a joke, the USPS is the nation’s favourite government agency, viewed favourably by 91% of Americans. The Economist, "Law of the letter The postal service has become a key part of America’s election infrastructure," 8 Aug. 2020 And therefore know this: The upcoming school year is a joke. Gregg Doyel, The Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Purdue's Rondale Moore does what college football lacks the guts to do: Opt out of 2020," 7 Aug. 2020 Personal opinions about someone aside, a manic episode isnt a joke. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Kanye West's mental health battle is a wake-up call for empathy," 30 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Fans often joke that the pair's frequent Twitter exchanges must be happening side-by-side on the couch. Sophie Dodd, PEOPLE.com, "See Inside Good Mythical Morning’s Rhett McLaughlin and Wife Jessie’s ‘Eclectic’ L.A. Family Home," 9 Sep. 2020 There was little levity; this was nothing to joke about. Peter Strzok, CBS News, "Book excerpt: "Compromised" by Peter Strzok," 4 Sep. 2020 People joke that basketball is a religion in Indiana. Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books, "Missed Steps," 26 Aug. 2020 McCarthy has a good feel for when to joke and when to get down to business with this team in the early stages. David Moore, Dallas News, "With a down-to-earth approach, Mike McCarthy is already earning the Cowboys’ ‘love’ and ‘trust’," 22 Aug. 2020 Friedman remembers how her sons would joke with each other. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Faith in laughter: ‘There’s a holiness in laughter because of what it does, how it makes us feel’," 16 Aug. 2020 Braxton, who shared her loving message alongside an old video where the pair appeared to joke around about an engagement, went on to emphasize that her commitment to Adefeso is stronger than ever. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Tamar Braxton Thanks Boyfriend for ‘Saving My Life’ After Suicide Attempt: 'My Angel on Earth'," 2 Aug. 2020 Even somebody like Johnny Carson used to joke about the NBC commissary. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "You Look So Much Better in Person," 29 July 2020 Teachers, especially in elementary and preschool settings, frequently joke about the germs their kids share with them all year long. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: How politicians can help kids get back to school as safely as possible," 17 July 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

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke. Accessed 20 Sep. 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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