joke

noun
\ ˈjōk How to pronounce joke (audio) \

Essential Meaning of joke

1 : something said or done to cause laughter She meant it as a joke, but many people took her seriously. Is this your idea of a joke? [=do you think that what you are saying/doing is funny?] See More ExamplesThey played a harmless joke on him. They are always making jokes about his car. He thought he could embarrass us, but now the joke is on him. [=he is the one who looks foolish] He just can't take a joke. [=he does not like it when other people make jokes about him]Hide
2 : a brief story with a surprising and funny ending I heard a funny joke yesterday. the punch line of a joke See More ExamplesShe's always cracking/telling jokes. I didn't get/understand the joke. an inside joke [=a joke that is understood only by people with special knowledge about something]Hide
3 disapproving : someone or something that is not worth taking seriously That exam was a joke. Their product became a joke in the industry. See More ExamplesHe's in danger of becoming a national joke. It's no joke to be lost in the woods. = Being lost in the woods is no joke. [=being lost in the woods is a serious situation]Hide

Full 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 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 How to pronounce joke (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 To a normal person, all of the memelords, centipedes, and chan group urchins seem like a sick joke. Bryan Box, The New Republic, 10 Sep. 2021 If that sounds like a joke, take a time machine back to 1950 and tell them about $30,000,000,000,000. Andrew Tisch, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 There’s no clear sign that this is intended to be a joke, although your mind begs for comedic relief for the duration of the tutorial. Mirel Zaman, refinery29.com, 7 Sep. 2021 The remark was met with a round of laughter from his cabinet members, but Abiy's belief in his mother's prophecy was no joke. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, 7 Sep. 2021 Her Instagram post was a joke, Vice reported — though the experience shed light on the perils of her growing mainstream fame. Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2021 The title was kind of a joke at first, this place where people would go, bring women, party and hang out. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, 1 Sep. 2021 Consecutive season-derailing injuries are disconcerting; his offensive line is a joke and his quarterback is not far behind. Cory Bonini, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2021 Jackie tries to make the line seem like a joke, but the maternal anxiety behind it is clear. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 11 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Politico's AgencyIQ executive director Alexander Gaffney tweeted to joke that the name comirnaty isn't too bad, considering other drug names look like someone was trying to make a name from a bad hand of Scrabble. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Aug. 2021 Also, Rivers stopped at one point to joke with reporters, who were covering the game on the sideline instead of in an NFL stadium press box. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, 27 Aug. 2021 Like, Garrett and I would always joke around with each other. Wolfgang Ruth, Vulture, 26 Aug. 2021 There are also nightly gatherings to joke and spend time with each other in the tents after a grueling day. Alex Harris, Anchorage Daily News, 11 July 2021 In another behind-the-scenes video, Wilson takes us on a tour around the movie set, stopping on her way to joke around with cast and crew members. Iris Goldsztajn, Marie Claire, 3 Aug. 2021 Fans may joke that Sue Bird, the WNBA’s oldest active player and the league’s all-time assists leader, will play forever. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, 27 July 2021 Before the war, Oday always smiled and loved to joke around with people. Arkansas Online, 24 July 2021 Growing up, Stewart would joke that his grandparents looked oddly glum for a pair of newlyweds. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, 13 July 2021

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

jo-jotte

joke

jokebook

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for joke

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Joke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for joke

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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