1

joke

noun \ ˈjōk \
|Updated on: 7 Jun 2018

Definition of joke

1 a : 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

Examples of joke in a Sentence

  1. She meant it as a joke, but many people took her seriously.

  2. They played a harmless joke on him.

  3. They are always making jokes about his car.

  4. I heard a funny joke yesterday.

  5. the punch line of a joke

  6. I didn't get the joke.

  7. That exam was a joke.

  8. Their product became a joke in the industry.

  9. He's in danger of becoming a national joke.

Recent Examples of joke from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of joke

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


2

joke

verb

Definition of joke

joked; joking
: to make jokes : jest
: to make the object of a joke : kid

jokingly

play \ˈjō-kiŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of joke in a Sentence

  1. My friends would joke about the uniform I had to wear at work.

  2. She joked about the possibility of losing her job.

  3. I thought he was joking when he said he might quit, but it turned out that he really meant it.

  4. Don't take it seriously: I was only joking.

  5. She spent a few minutes joking with reporters after giving her speech.

  6. She joked that she could always get work as a truck driver if she lost her job.

Recent Examples of joke from the Web

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.

First Known Use of joke

1670

in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

joke Synonyms

Phrases

crack wise;


JOKE Defined for English Language Learners

joke

Definition of joke for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of joke for English Language Learners

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


JOKE Defined for Kids

1

joke

noun \ ˈjōk \

Definition of joke for Students

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.

2

joke

verb

Definition of joke for Students

joked; joking
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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