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
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

Synonyms for joke

Synonyms: Noun

boff (or boffo), boffola, crack, drollery, funny, gag, giggle [chiefly British], jape, jest, josh, laugh, nifty, one-liner, pleasantry, quip, rib, sally, waggery, wisecrack, witticism, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

Synonyms: Verb

banter, chaff, fool, fun, gag, jape, jest, jive, jolly, josh, kid, quip, wisecrack, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

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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

Hyland had, no joke, a hell of a year, culminating in a second kidney transplant. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "How Wells Adams Is Already Planning His Dream Wedding to Sarah Hyland," 9 Jan. 2019 That’s thought to be the world’s oldest recorded joke, from 1900 BCE . Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Can't Men Like Louis C.K. Accept Their Ideas Are Outdated?," 4 Jan. 2019 No joke—Haraden and his family live in the mansion, but move out twice a year for 42 days for filming. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About The Bachelor Mansion," 14 Nov. 2018 The jokes, groans and eye-rolls started on Twitter even before the announcement - replete with tongue-in-cheek casting predictions. Travis M. Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "The Thai cave rescue is being made into a movie. As Hollywood's history shows, this was inevitable," 13 July 2018 Ariana Grande, who is always one for jokes, stepped up her Internet trolling game with an affectionate Instagram photo involving her cousin Courtney Chipolone and a certain reference from Mean Girls. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Trolled Fans With a Photo of Her Kissing Her Cousin," 19 Nov. 2018 Turns out, the whole thing was a joke--only many fans didn't catch on, including media outlets (like this one). Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "[UPDATED] Doug Wilson Explains His Trading Spaces Costar Didn't Injure Him After All," 14 Oct. 2018 Though Britain prides itself on projecting pageantry and high theater in its politics, Brexit’s 774 days have better resembled local pantomime: a weak cast, bad jokes, and little to entertain out-of-towners. Sean Williams, The New Republic, "England’s World Cup Team: the Anti-Brexit," 10 July 2018 Three weeks ago, the players on Russia's national soccer team were laughingstocks, targets for jokes and social-media memes. James Ellingworth, chicagotribune.com, "From laughingstocks to stars, Russian players enjoy World Cup success," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The women were a jolly bunch, laughing and joking together. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Rosenstein denied the report, and one source told the Times that Rosenstein had merely been joking. Alex Ward, Vox, "Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s future in question," 24 Sep. 2018 By Monday evening, the boys were able to joke, laugh, and have normal conversations, doctors said. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "How the world came together to save 12 boys trapped in a Thai cave," 10 July 2018 An unusually dense fog had settled over the city for days, which people began to joke was the smoke of three million asados being fired up before the match. Candace Rose Rardon, Longreads, "The Country Where Fútbol Comes First," 10 July 2018 Somsanith loved to joke with his co-workers too — like hiding and then jumping out at them. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Online deal to buy iPhone 7 in KCK led to deadly encounter for Lee's Summit man," 10 July 2018 In the recording, an agent can be heard joking at their expense. Olivia Nuzzi, Daily Intelligencer, "Inside the Disastrous White House Briefing on Trump’s Child Separation Policy," 19 June 2018 The duo even joked about the possibility of being selected by the same team. Parth Upadhyaya, Houston Chronicle, "Magnolia embraces Canada pipeline as Jays draft Adam Kloffenstein," 5 June 2018 Davidson often joked about it on Saturday Night Live, and Grande responded to fans who wanted to discuss certain bits of gossip on Twitter. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ has come full circle as an extremely online event," 6 Nov. 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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Dictionary Entries near joke

joisting

jojoba

jo-jotte

joke

jokebook

jokeless

jokelet

Statistics for joke

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on joke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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